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WRC NEWS 

Rally Italy: Sebastien Ogier dominates opening morning

Sebastien Ogier WRC 2013Sebastien Ogier dominated the opening morning of Rally Italy, quickly establishing a 20-second lead.

The Volkswagen driver won two of the morning's three stages as he pulled away from Mikko Hirvonen's Citroen.

Ogier's VW team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala could in theory be right on the championship leader's tail, having won SS2 and been just 0.3 seconds slower than the Frenchman on SS3.

But a puncture for Latvala on SS1 means he is 1m55s back in seventh overall.

M-Sport Ford's Evgeny Novikov initially challenged Hirvonen for second, only to roll out near the start of the second stage.

His team-mate Mads Ostberg then took up the chase, completing the loop just 4.4s behind Hirvonen.

The second Citroen of Dani Sordo is another 7.3s back in fourth, with Thierry Neuville a further 8.1s adrift for M-Sport after a spin on SS3.

Robert Kubica holds a commanding 50s lead in WRC2, despite a high-speed spin on the last stage of the morning.

Leading positions after SS3:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car       Time/Gap
 1.  Sebastien Ogier     VW             39m58.6s
 2.  Mikko Hirvonen      Citroen         + 20.5s
 3.  Mads Ostberg        M-Sport Ford    + 24.9s
 4.  Dani Sordo          Citroen         + 32.2s
 5.  Thierry Neuville    M-Sport Ford    + 40.3s
 6.  Andreas Mikkelsen   VW              + 55.7s
 7.  Jari-Matti Latvala  VW            + 1m54.5s
 8.  Martin Prokop       Czech Ford    + 2m35.1s
 9.  Michal Kosciuszko   Lotos Ford    + 2m53.7s
10.  Elfyn Evans         M-Sport Ford  + 3m02.8s
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