Loeb Leads as Citroen Dominate

Sebastien Loeb took control of the Rally Deutschland at the end of Leg One, as Citroen stamped their authority on the event

Loeb Leads as Citroen Dominate

Loeb and teammate Francois Duval are more than a minute ahead of their nearest rivals on the event, and it looks like the pair will battle it out for victory alone.

After Duval had taken a surprise lead at lunch, Loeb reasserted his authority over his teammate, and stretched out a 11.7-second margin. Duval lost the lead and a chunk of time to Loeb after he stalled on the startline of SS4, but he was still quick enough for the second fastest time on the stage.

If Loeb holds onto the lead, he will take his eighth victory of the season and move closer to securing his second WRC crown. If Duval can claw back the advantage he would take his first ever WRC victory, and go a long way to justifying the faith shown in him by the Citroen team in reinstating him to the team after he was dropped earlier in the season.

The second running of this morning's stages were drier and as a result produced faster times. The Citroen pair finished 1-2 on all six stages of the day.

Marcus Gronholm continued to lose time in the afternoon's stages to the Citroen pair and has given up hope of finishing any higher than third. He is alone in third place with Subaru's Petter Solberg continuing to hold fourth.

Toni Gardemeister overtook his teammate Roman Kresta on SS5 for fifth after the Czech driver had an off through the German vineyards on SS4.  Gardemeister has got the gap down to Solberg to just six seconds and will the scrap for fourth will be one of the battles to watch on Leg Two.

Markko Martin, who had lost time after hitting a wall and causing a puncture on SS3, recovered to overtake Mitsubishi's Gigi Galli for seventh on SS4.

It was worse for second Subaru driver Stephane Sarrazin, after the Frenchman ran wide at the first corner of SS5 and spun off the road. The Impreza became beached and had to be pushed back onto the road by spectators and he lost more two minutes. He ended the leg in 14th.

One place lower was his Subaru teammate Chris Atkinson, whose turbo boost problems were fixed during service and despite stalling at one hairpin, worked his way up to 15th.

Results after Leg 1:

Pos  Driver        Make       Time     
 1.  Loeb          Citroen     1:09:54.0 
 2.  Duval         Citroen     +    11.7   
 3.  Gronholm      Peugeot     +  1:11.5 
 4.  Solberg       Subaru      +  2:25.1 
 5.  Gardemeister  Ford        +  2:31.0 
 6.  Kresta        Ford        +  2:37.2 
 7.  Martin        Peugeot     +  2:44.5 
 8.  Galli         Mitsubishi  +  2:51.5 
 9.  Schwarz       Skoda       +  3:33.6 
10.  Sola          Ford        +  3:33.8 
11.  Rovanpera     Mitsubishi  +  4:06.6 
12.  Pons          Citroen     +  4:35.9 
13.  Kopecky       Skoda       +  5:07.3 
14.  Sarrazin      Subaru      +  5:40.4 
15.  Atkinson      Subaru      +  6:23.4 
16.  Vojtech       Peugeot     +  6:26.5 
17.  Sordo         Citroen     +  7:51.1 
18.  Meeke         Citroen     +  8:07.7 
19.  Wilks         Suzuki      +  8:36.6 
20.  Casier        Peugeot     +  9:30.0 

All Timing Unofficial

shares
comments
Duval Takes Surprise Early Lead
Previous article

Duval Takes Surprise Early Lead

Next article

Loeb Maintains Lead Despite Spin

Loeb Maintains Lead Despite Spin
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022