Solberg takes early lead in Finland

After going fastest on SS1

By Franck Drui

29 July 2010 - 19:37
Solberg takes early lead in Finland

Petter Solberg moved into an early lead of the 2010 Neste Oil Rally Finland after setting the fastest time on Thursday evening’s opening stage.

The Citroen C4 WRC driver completed the short Laajavuori sprint stage in 2min 33.2sec, exactly one second quicker than his nearest rival, Ford team-leader Mikko Hirvonen.

At the finish control, Solberg claimed to have taken a gentle approach to the stage.

"I was a bit chicken in there,” he said. “The time felt good but the proper stuff starts tomorrow so I was a bit careful.”

Hirvonen, who won Rally Finland last year, also claimed to have more speed in reserve. “It was quite a steady start, and I made a few small mistakes, but I think we’re in the game now. We’ll see for sure tomorrow morning,” said the Finn.

Sebastien Loeb and Jari-Matti Latvala will start Friday’s competition tied in third place after both completing in 2min 34.8sec - 1.6sec slower than Solberg. Sebastien Ogier rounded off the top five times, on his first competitive outing driving for the Citroen Total team.

Neste Oil Rally Finland resumes on Friday morning, with the first stage - the 12.75km Urria - getting underway at 0742hrs.

01 Petter SOLBERG Citroën C4 WRC 2m33.2s
02 Mikko HIRVONEN Ford Focus WRC +1.0s
03 Sébastien LOEB Citroën C4 WRC +1.6s
04 Jari-Matti LATVALA Ford Focus WRC +1.6s
05 Sébastien OGIER Citroën C4 WRC +3.2s
06 Henning SOLBERG Ford Focus WRC +3.2s
07 Dani SORDO Citroën C4 WRC +3.8s
08 Matthew WILSON Ford Focus WRC +5.4s
09 Mads ÖTSBERG Subaru Impreza WRC +5.4s
10 Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN Citroën C4 WRC +6.4s
11 Khalid AL QASSIMI Ford Focus WRC +6.4s
12 Jari KETOMAA Ford Fiesta S2000 +9.4s
13 Juha KANKKUNEN Ford Focus WRC +9.6s
14 Juho HÄNNINEN Skoda Fabia S2000 +10.8s
15 Patrik SANDELL Skoda Fabia S2000 +11.4s



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