WRC 2010 Round 5 – Rally New Zealand : Day 1

Petter Solberg, running on a private Citroen C4 led the field after the 1st day of Rally New Zealand, ahead of 2nd place Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala and 3rd place Citroen Junior Team’s Sebastien Ogier. Sebastien Loeb’s suffered a major scare when he hit a bridge on SS4, and lost a lot of time trying to keep his driver’s door closed for the whole session. At the end of Day 1, Loeb is more than a minute behind and looking very unlikely to stretch his winning streak to 4 consecutive wins.

Sebastien Loeb is targeting at least a podium finish for this year’s Rally New Zealand after earlier setback ruled him out of contention for the win

Despite leading after 4 stages, Dani Sordo is lingering in 4th place after failing to sustain his performance through the afternoon

Loeb’s teammate Dani Sordo led after the 4th stage, but slipped behind to 4th as Solberg strikes back in the afternoon to go fastest through stage eight. Mikko Hirvonen (below) struggled for pace and despite a mistake free run, just couldn’t challenge the front runners and had to settle for 5th.

Solberg will start Day 2 as a sweeper, which might be a disadvantage, but his main challenger in the championship Loeb and Hirvonen is far behind in the time sheet, so it’s all to play for. Others like Latvala, Ogier and Sordo might fancy their chances for the win when the 2nd day of Rally New Zealand starts tomorrow.

Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala is second heading into day two

Photo : Citroen WRC, www.GEPA-pictures.com, worldrallypics.com, Tony Welam (pettersolberg.com)

Related posts:

WRC 2010 Round 5 - Rally New Zealand : Day 3
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WRC 2010 Round 7 - Rally Bulgaria Day 3 : Citroen Sweeps the Top 4 Spots
WRC - ADAC Rally Deutschland Day 2 : Loeb on Course for 8th Succesive Rally Deutschland Victory
WRC - Rally Japan Day 3 : Win Number Two for Sebastien Ogier
WRC - RACC Rally de Espana Day 1 : Loeb Reigns in Spain
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