Peugeots set early pace in Australia

A capacity 20,000 Langley Park crowd saw the Peugeot duo of Marcus Gronholm and Francois Delecour set the early pace of Telstra Rally Australia on the opening night

Peugeots set early pace in Australia

Side by side racing has been a feature of the Australian event and, with cars running in reverse order, tension built throughout the evening until Gronholm smashed the opposition to take one of the biggest leads yet seen over the 2.2km figure-of-eight course.

The championship challengers couldn't match Gronholm's pace, with Ford's Colin McRae setting the fifth fastest time, 1.2 seconds back. Richard Burns in the Subaru and Carlos Sainz in the second Ford are currently lying in equal ninth, 1.6 seconds behind Gronholm.

However, while the action was spectacular it means little in the overall scheme of things because the meat of the event will take place in the forests tomorrow (Friday) as the drivers battle over the treacherous gravel roads. Tactics will play a major role, with each of the front runners seeking not to lead the event but equally not risk being too far behind until the final day charge for victory on Sunday.

The rest of Leg One's stages kick off at around 02:25 GMT Friday morning. Don't forget, Autosport.com will be bringing you all the action from Australia. To see the very latest standings, click here. And to see the schedule click here.

Remember, the times in our live rally table are in local time, which is eight hours ahead of GMT.

Visit the official Telstra Rally Australia website at www.rallyaustralia.com.au

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