SS1, Platres: Solberg edges Eriksson

Subaru young gun Petter Solberg headed the time sheets after the opening stage of the Cyprus Rally, but Hyundai's Swedish veteran Kenneth Eriksson supplied the biggest surprise with a morale-boosting second overall on the rough 11.48km Platres test

SS1, Platres: Solberg edges Eriksson

Eriksson completed the stage just 5.3s slower than Solberg, despite getting a puncture, and 0.4s quicker than Solberg's team leader Richard Burns.

Marcus Gronholm posted the fourth fastest time in the latest evolution Peugeot 206 WRC, a car designed to overcome the team's Achilles' heel of longevity in the rough stuff. He shared his time with Gilles Panizzi in a Grifone-run 206 WRC.

With the early runners acting as stone clearers, some unfamiliar names managed to get inside the top 10. As well as Eriksson's early surprise, Toshihiro Arai put his Subaru sixth, ahead of the Fords of Francois Delecour and Colin McRae.

Alister McRae's Hyundai and the Mitsubishi of Freddy Loix completed the top 10, with the likes of Tommi Makinen and Carlos Sainz sitting well outside the top 10 after the first of the day's six special stages.

The stage was stopped prematurely when Hamed Al-Wahaibi's Subaru caught alight, raising the spectre of a forest fire if it was not dealt with swiftly. That meant that the likes of Neil Wearden (Grifone Peugeot) and Mark Higgins (GpN Mitsubishi) were sent directly to SS2.

For results from SS1, Platres, click here.

For results table, click here.

For entry list, click here.

For itinerary, click here.

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