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Solberg holds lead at end of day one

Petter Solberg, Solberg Citroen, Rally New Zealand 2010Petter Solberg will head into day two of the Rally New Zealand 1.4s ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala, with Sebastien Ogier and Dani Sordo also close behind.

Former world champion Solberg returned his self-run Citroen to the front by winning the final full-length stage of the day. He was only fifth on this evening's asphalt superspecial in Auckland, but his rivals only trimmed a few fractions from his advantage.

As well as having Latvala's Ford just 1.4s behind him, Solberg is only 3.9s clear of equal superspecial winner Ogier (Citroen Junior), with Sordo 8.7s down on Solberg in the second factory Citroen.

Sebastien Loeb shared joint fastest time in Auckland with Ogier as he continued his recovery charge after damaging his Citroen's door in an impact with a bridge this morning. He is 1m19.8s away from the lead in seventh, two places behind title rival Mikko Hirvonen (Ford), who had a quiet opening day.

Jari Ketomaa has established a 22s lead over championship leader Xevi Pons in the S2000 battle, while national champion and Pirelli Star Driver Hayden Paddon is dominating the Production class after close rivals Richard Mason and Toshi Arai hit trouble. Paddon is now two minutes clear of second-placed Emma Gilmour.

Pos  Driver              Car        Time/Gap
 1.  Petter Solberg      Citroen  1h35m51.3s
 2.  Jari-Matti Latvala  Ford         + 1.4s
 3.  Sebastien Ogier     Citroen      + 3.9s
 4.  Dani Sordo          Citroen      + 8.7s
 5.  Mikko Hirvonen      Ford        + 20.2s
 6.  Matthew Wilson      Ford      + 1m09.7s
 7.  Sebastien Loeb      Citroen   + 1m19.8s
 8.  Henning Solberg     Ford      + 1m45.3s
 9.  Jari Ketomaa        Ford      + 4m18.0s
10.  Xevi Pons           Ford      + 4m40.5s
British GP competition
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