12 Jun 08
Sebastien Loeb of the Citroen-Total team was the fastest driver through Rally Turkey's opening Superspecial stage, and will start Friday’s first full day of competition with a slim rally lead of 0.7sec.
The Rally began from 1725hrs on Thursday night with the first of two visits to the short Superspecial in the grounds of Antalya University. Crews will return to tackle the stage again on Saturday night.
Drivers started the 2.6km stage in pairs, running side-by-side around a figure of eight course which featured a crossover, a jump and a tunnel.
In front of thousands of spectators Loeb completed the loop in 2m 7.6sec, seven-tenths of a second quicker than Petter Solberg who was next fastest in his Subaru Impreza. BP-Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen was third; just four-tenths slower than Solberg.
“That was okay; one stage and one scratch time,” said Loeb at the stage end. “It’s good to be quickest but okay, tomorrow we have to go first on the road, so let’s see what we can do.”
Petter Solberg was one of many drivers to be bothered by the clouds of dust kicked up by the car in the other lane. But the Norwegian said he was delighted to be second. “So far so good!” said Solberg. “The dust in there was unbelievable, but it’s a good start. I can sleep a bit better tonight!”
Friday’s first stage starts at 0838hrs. Join us here at wrc.com for live stage times and news updates from the service park in Kemer.