13 Jun 08
Gigi Galli of the Stobart Ford team took his second consecutive stage win on the first of Friday’s repeated stages.
The Italian completed the 22km Perge test one second quicker than Jari-Matti Latvala who was second.
But at the end of the stage Galli said he was concerned that he might have pushed his tyres too hard. “It felt like they had gone off a bit towards the end,” said Galli. “But looking at the times of the other guys they must have been pushing hard too.”
Jari-Matti Latvala was second fastest and closed a little on the lead of his BP-Ford team-mate Mikko Hirvonen. "There was a nice clean line to follow," said Latvala. “There were a few rocks on the road, but we managed to avoid them.”
Hirvonen, meanwhile, was third fastest and satisfied with this time. “I’m happy,” said Hirvonen. “The road position is okay; it’s going in the right direction.”
Per-Gunnar Andersson dropped from eighth to 11th following a hydraulic problem on his Suzuki SX4 WRC which left him with only with a manual gear shift system.
Defending World Champion Sebastien Loeb dropped a place to sixth overall but remained upbeat. “Compared with this morning I’m a lot happier and I have a much better feeling in the car,” he said.
After SS5 the time differences between the top six remained extremely close and only 14 seconds separated Loeb from Hirvonen’s lead.