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RallyRACC-Rally de Espana

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00:00:00 (UTC +2)

21°C70°F
Salou

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Thu 19:30 - Thursday done
Just the one stage tonight - a curtain raiser before a full day of competition tomorrow. We'll resume our live text service at 0830hrs on Friday - in time for the 7km Gandesa stage. In the meantime, keep an eye on the news section for the latest from Salou. Adiós for now.

Thu 19:30 - WRC2 top 5 after SS1
1. Chardonnet (Citroen DS3 R5): 3m50.9s, 2. Sousa (Ford Fiesta RRC): +2.1s, 3. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): +2.5s, 4. Kruuda (Ford Fiesta S2000): +6.4s, 5. Barrable (Ford Fiesta R5): +6.4s

Thu 19:14 - SS1 Key points
Volkswagen’s Andreas Mikkelsen was fastest on the Barcelona street stage to spring into an early, 1.8sec, lead of RallyRACC - Rally de España. Pre-stage, the Norwegian scrubbed much of the tread off his gravel tyres to improve grip on the asphalt. Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville are second and third overnight. Ken Block slammed his Fiesta RS into a barrier on the first corner but seems to have escaped mechanical damage.

Thu 19:05 - WRC top 5 after SS1
1. Mikkelsen (VW): 3m39.1s, 2. Ogier (VW): +1.8s, 3. Neuville (Hyundai): +2.9s, 4. Latvala (VW): +3.1s, 5. Sordo (Hyundai): +3.6s

Thu 18:59 - SS1: Ogier gets close...
But he's unable to beat Mikkelsen's time. Seb stops the clock 1.8sec slower to slot second fastest. "An okay stage, but not too much risk. The real rally starts tomorrow. Flat out, that's the plan."

Thu 18:55 - SS1: Latvala too hestitant?
The Finn is 3.2sec slower than his VW team-mate Mikkelsen. "That was a very demanding stage. The car was performing well but in a few places I was a little hesitant. I had only one soft tyre and perhaps with two - like Ogier - I could have been quicker."

Thu 18:52 - SS1: Mikkelsen tyre gamble
Fastest so far (3m39.1s) for the Norwegian who is after his first WRC rally win this weekend. He scrubbed most of the tread off his tyres before the stage and reckons his virtual slicks made the difference. "Okay, we've used up some of our allocation for tomorrow, but I think what we'll gain here is more than we'll lose tomorrow."

Thu 18:48 - SS1: Mikko Hirvonen
"The time wasn't so great but I enjoyed it." He's fifth fastest

Thu 18:45 - SS1: Neuville's donut regret
The Belgian pings his i20 WRC through in a new fastest time of 3m42.0s. "It was a good run, but a lost a little time in the donut because I did it in second gear and couldn't get full throttle."

Thu 18:42 - SS1: Meeke clears
A great time for the Brit who is 0.4sec slower than Sordo. "A brilliant stage for the spectators. I'm happy with my run, technically it was good. Lets see how the Volkswagens do - it looks like they've played with their tyres. How they are legal I don't know..."

Thu 18:39 - SS1: Great start for Ostberg
He's second quickest so far, 1sec adrift of Sordo. "A fantastic stage, right up there with my favorite super specials of the year. The setting is fantastic and there are so many people!"

Thu 18:36 - SS1: Cautious start for Evans
He retired on the Salou street stage last year - so he's understandably pretty careful tonight. "Yeah, I was trying to be careful, it's a tricky little stage. Maybe I didn't push hard enough - maybe a bit too tidy." He completes 6.8sec slower than Sordo.

Thu 18:32 - SS1: Prokop clear
and he's second fastest so far. "A fantastic stage, really nice but we are so limited by the (gravel) tyres. We managed a clear run to be ready for tomorrow."

Thu 18:30 - SS1: Sordo in trouble?
Huge cheers from the Spanish crowd as Dani completes in 3m42.7s - fastest so far. But he's sounding concerned. "I think first gear wasn't coming up very good. We didn't seem to have power coming out of the hairpins. Perhaps something is wrong. We will have a look."

Thu 18:26 - SS1: Paddon fastest so far
In a time of 3m47.5s. "I quite enjoyed this. There are heaps of people and an amazing atmosphere. We made a bit of smoke and had fun."

Thu 18:24 - SS1: Kubica slides through
This stage is run close to the former Barcelona Grand Prix circuit, but our ex F1 driver wasn't feeling at home. "It wasn't easy doing this on gravel tyres. I see tarmac and I think grip - but there wasn't a lot here!"

Thu 18:21 - SS1: Protasov clears
His time of 3m51.2s is quickest so far

Thu 18:19 - SS1: Khalid the showman
It's not easy to follow Ken Block, but Al Qassimi gives it a good go in his Citroen DS3. "We spent a lot of sideways. This was definitely not about times - this was for the show." Good man. He completes 5sec slower than Ken.

Thu 18:14 - SS1: Block completes
And his benchmark time is 3m52.0s. "The tyres were colder and slicker than I thought and it went way wider than I expected! The rest of the stage was good, I hope the damage isn't too bad. It's good to be back!"

Thu 18:11 - SS1: And Block's into the barrier!
A wild first corner for the American, who slams the left rear into a barrier. He seems to have got away with it.

Thu 18:08 - SS1: Stage is Live!
Ken Block began the stage at 1808hrs

Thu 17:53 - SS1 stage notes:
Barcelona, 3.20km: This asphalt test on the lower section of Montjuïc hill is the first stage in Barcelona since the rally entered the WRC. Concrete walls line the roads and drivers complete two laps, including ‘doughnuts’ in front of the Palau Nacional building.

Thu 17:44 - Weather update
It’s been a lovely sunny day in Salou, with blue skies and a high of 26˚C. It’s 23˚C now. Sunset tonight is 1903hrs

Thu 17:42 - Stage 1 start order
s based on championship standings reversed - which puts the WRCs returning Hoonigan Ken Block through first. Here’s the full World Rally Car start order: 1. Block, 2. Al Qassimi, 3. Protasov, 4. Kubica, 5. Paddon, 6. Sordo, 7. Prokop, 8. Evans, 9. Ostberg, 10. Meeke, 11. Neuville, 12. Hirvonen, 13. Mikkelsen, 14. Latvala, 15. Ogier

Thu 17:41 - Thursday’s itinerary
Crews left Salou from 1pm for the start of the opening stage, held on tarmac in the streets of Barcelona. The 3.2km sprint gets underway at 1808hrs (local). After covering a total distance of 222 kilometres, the cars will come back to parc ferme from 2008hrs

Thu 17:41 - Coming up
is the opening stage of this unique mixed-surface rally.

Thu 16:45 - We’re all set
at the wrc.com desk of text, inside rally HQ at the Port Aventura theme park in host town Salou.

Thu 16:45 - Hola from Salou
and welcome to our live text coverage of RallyRACC - Rally de España, round 12 of the FIA World Rally Championship

Wed 17:28 - Servicepark Livestream
Open the Live Text Pop-Up to see the Schedule

Wed 09:41 - RallyRACC - Rally de Espana
SS1 Barcelona from 6pm (CEST) live @ www.wrcplus.com

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