Leg 1 am: Panizzi takes early lead

Peugeot ace Gilles Panizzi has taken an early advantage on the Sanremo Rally, while team-mate and world championship leader Marcus Gronholm has been delayed by turbo boost problems

Leg 1 am: Panizzi takes early lead

Gronholm won the first stage of the event, but Panizzi hit back with two consecutive victories on SS2 and SS3. It was on the latter that Gronholm lost boost and he dropped from second to seventh on the leaderboard.

Reigning world champion Richard Burns enjoyed a good start to the Italian asphalt event and lies second overall, nearly six seconds down on Panizzi.

Citroen's Philippe Bugalski is third, ahead of Tommi Makinen, Markko Martin and Petter Solberg.

Colin McRae has not enjoyed a good morning. The Scot was well off the leaders' pace on all three stages and is around 45s down on Panizzi already. McRae spun on the first stage, then picked up a puncture on the second. He had a clear run on the third, but was surprised that his time was still not competitive.

But at least he is still in the rally. Armin Schwarz's event only lasted for 11.8km before he was forced into retirement when his Hyundai clouted a barrier set in concrete. The damage to his Hyundai meant he had no choice but to pull out.

The cars headed to the service park following SS3.

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Leg 1: Panizzi and Peugeot in total control

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