16 May 08
Sebastien Loeb set the fastest time through the third stage of the rally to extend his overall lead to 22.5 seconds.
Dani Sordo was fourth fastest through the 15km stage, to hold on to second overall and round off a perfect morning for the Total Citroen team.
“Yeah, it’s going well, and the feeling in the car is okay,” said Loeb. “It’s only the start of the rally, but it’s a good start. I’m hoping we can do better from this point than we did in Jordan.”
Dani Sordo also said he was satisfied with his morning’s work, and that a couple of small adjustments during the morning had improved the feeling in his Citroen C4 WRC.
Mikko Hirvonen was sixth fastest to hold on to third overall, although he now shared the position with Chris Atkinson of the Subaru World Rally Team who has exactly the same total time.
Stage three was the last that Hirvonen will tackle as the first car, because this afternoon’s stages are all repeated and will have been swept of the loose layer of gravel. “It’s been a difficult morning but it’s not that bad,” said Hirvonen, “For some reason though we don’t have the speed and I’m making the odd mistake.”
Chris Atkinson said a small change he’d made to the set-up of his Impreza had improved its handling, “It’s okay, but there’s still a long way to go,” he said.
Petter Solberg is fifth - putting both Subarus in the top five. But despite the encouraging look of the leaderboard, the Norwegian said he had been unhappy with the feeling of his car throughout the morning and he was not in a buoyant mood as he returned to the service park in Olbia. “It’s been a very tough morning,” he said, “I’m doing what I can.”