Citroen drivers on top of Rally NZ after day one

BERNARD CARPINTER
Last updated 18:42 22/06/2012
Mikko Hirvonen
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ
CLOSE CALL: Mikko Hirvonen is second behind team-mate Sebastian Loeb after day one of the Rally of New Zealand.

Related Links

Latvala, Hirvonen tops in Rally NZ qualifying Fast-again Petter Solberg set to fire in Rally NZ Fight to keep Rally NZ; teams complain of cost Now team-mates, Hirvonen still chasing Loeb Tourism role for Hayden Paddon at Rally NZ Chris West primed for action in Rally NZ

Relevant offers

Motorsport

McLaren go back to the future with orange and black Formula One car Off the tarmac and onto the water: Neil Marshall dominates jetsprints Lewis Hamilton: F1 cars sound terrible and the sport isn't winning Kiwi Marcus Armstrong to compete in Italian and German Formula 4 series Red Bull seeking gains from Renault's 'big winter' Drivers display power and skills at car club time trial Supercars star Jamie Whincup cancels wedding a week out from big day Motocross nationals heat up after brilliant day of racing in Rotorua Jamie Duff reigns at Ruapuna after three-week speedway ban Performance cars descend on Waitara for annual street-race

Citroen is firmly in charge of Rally New Zealand, its drivers Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen a minute and a half ahead of the opposition at the end of the first day.

France's reigning champion Loeb, who leads the current series, is just four seconds ahead of his Finnish team-mate, who had been in front most of the day.

Their only real challenge came from Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, but the Finn was 25 seconds behind after six stages and then destroyed his chances in the next stage by getting tangled in a fence. He dropped from third to ninth after losing four minutes in the incident.

To compound the Ford team's woes, Petter Solberg chose the wrong type of tyre in the morning and was only seventh after four stages. He improved in the afternoon to end the day in fourth, close behind Russian Evgeny Novikov in an independent Ford.

Kiwi Hayden Paddon survived severe gearbox problems in his Skoda - no second gear - to lead the S2000 class at the end of the day, while Masterton driver Richard Mason was the best of the New Zealand championship drivers in his Subaru.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog