SS1: Solberg leads on ice

Petter Solberg took an early lead on the first stage of the Uddeholm Swedish Rally, as conditions became a little more typical of Scandinavia in winter

SS1: Solberg leads on ice

In the build-up to the event there had been great concern that unseasonal high temperatures would leave the route devoid of snow - causing severe problems for the cars' studded tyres.

Some snow did fall during the shakedown but not enough for the traditional snow banks to build-up, although an overnight freeze meant SS1 took place on thick packed ice and in brilliant sunshine. The temperature was -7 degrees when the action began but has already risen to -4.

Monte Carlo winner Sebastien Loeb was second fastest, 5.4s behind Solberg, but further back, the order was more shuffled. The Ford drivers and Subaru's inexperienced duo suffered, Toni Gardemeister was only 13th quickest in the lead Focus WRC while Stephane Sarrazin and Chris Atkinson are outside the top 20 already.

Local favourite Daniel Carlsson is a superb third in Bozian Racing's privateer Peugeot 307 at this stage, ahead of works driver Marcus Gronholm. Skoda's Jani Paasonen and Mattias Ekstrom are fifth and seventh, sandwiching the impressive Gigi Galli's Mitsubishi. The 2002-vintage Ford Focus of Kristian Sohlberg completes the present top eight.



Petter Solberg (Subaru Impreza) 12m16.3s
Sebastien Loeb (Citroen Xsara) 12m21.7s
Daniel Carlsson (Peugeot 307) 12m24.3s
Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot 307) 12m25.3s
Jani Paasonen (Skoda Fabia) 12m27.2s
Gigi Galli (Mitsubishi Lancer) 12m30.1s
Mattias Ekstrom (Skoda Fabia) 12m30.5s
Kristian Sohlberg (Ford Focus) 12m31.2s
Francois Duval (Citroen Xsara) 12m32.3s
Markko Martin (Peugeot 307) 12m33.5s



Harri Rovanpera (Mitsubishi Lancer) 12m33.7s
Toni Gardemeister (Ford Focus) 12m37.4s
Janne Tuohino (Skoda Fabia) 12m38.1s
Roman Kresta (Ford Focus) 12m43.6s
Henning Solberg (Ford Focus) 12m45.0s
Stephane Sarrazin (Subaru Impreza) 12m59.3s
Chris Atkinson (Subaru Impreza) 13m01.7s

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