28 Mar 08
The final countryside stage of Friday’s competition brought problems for Toni Gardemeister and Dani Sordo but relief for Petter Solberg.
Gardemeister retired from the day after his Suzuki SX4 WRC struck a rock in the road and veered off into a ditch. The car sustained suspension damage and the Finn was unable to get it back on the road.
Subject to a satisfactory inspection back in the Suzuki service area; Gardemeister will join his team-mate P-G Andersson as a Superally entrant on Saturday.
Dani Sordo started SS8 less than a second behind third placed Petter Solberg but was unable to overtake the Subaru man because of problems with his Citroen.
Dani reported an inconsistent feeling with the steering of his C4 WRC and completed the stage 32sec slower than the fastest driver, Jari-Matti Latvala. As a result Sordo dropped down to fifth place, allowing Gigi Galli up to fourth.
With just the Superspecial remaining on day one, Loeb leads the rally by a margin of 1min 32.2sec. The Subarus of Chris Atkinson and Petter Solberg are second and third.