Rally Bulgaria 2010 - result 2010

Rally Bulgaria 2010 - result day 1
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Z for the first time this year the stars were the World Rally Championship on Friday (July 9th) on asphalt. For the first time ever, it was over the potholed slopes of Bulgaria. New terrain, old picture: As soon as asphalt is involved, Sébastien Loeb seems to be unbeatable.

From the first stage on, the French long-term winner made things clear. By the lunch break he had worked out a lead of 16 seconds. After two more tests in the afternoon, the competition was already 28.1 seconds away. 'We had no problems and no mistakes. It was a good day', the Citroen driver summed up his Bulgarian debut.

Rally Bulgaria: competition fights for second place behind Loeb

However, Loeb does not want to celebrate too early. 'We have a good lead, but there are still two long days to go.' The rest of the field seems to have come to terms with another Loeb victory. 'I'm very happy with second place,' said Loeb's Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo after the final test. 'The second place behind Sébastien is probably the best that you can achieve here.'

Since 2005, the rally dominator from Alsace has not lost a pure asphalt rally. Petter Solberg, who is ten seconds behind Sordo in third position, will probably not change that. 'It's been an interesting day. It's tough, but it's going well.' The cooperation with the new co-driver Chris Patterson also seems to work. 'Unfortunately, we were a little too cautious in between and lost some time on Dani (Sordo). But we still have a good chance of a top 3 result.'

Ford drivers no chance against Citroen

After the first day, the two Ford drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala are another half a minute behind the Citroen top trio. 'We actually wanted to fight better with the Citroen at the front. But we have to live with the situation,' said Latvala after the fourth stage, a little disappointed. Hirvonen wasn't happy either. “After all, things went a little better in the afternoon than in the morning. But I really gave everything and risked a lot.”

Actually, the Ford works duo should have ended up further back. Citroen junior Sébastien Ogier, who was still in second place at lunch break, fell to sixth after a mistake on the third stageback. 'I didn't understand the Pacenotes correctly and drove straight ahead,' said the Frenchman. 'The most important thing is that we were able to continue. But we lost a lot of time.'

Raikkonen crashes on the last stage of the day

Ogier's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was not so lucky. The ex-Formula 1 champion fought for a long time with Hirvonen and Latvala for the 'Finnish championship'. After SS 3, the Iceman was even promising fourth place in his first World Championship rally on asphalt. But on the last stage of the day, Raikkonen slipped off the piste and fell far behind. At least the crew remained unharmed in the crash.

The Hungarian privateer Frigyes Turan also benefited from the Finn's bad luck. With a privately entered Peugeot 308 WRC, the local hero moved up to eighth place in the points. Turan is currently in the sandwich of the two Stobart-Ford drivers. Per Gunnar Andersson was able to clearly put his new team colleague Matthew Wilson in his place during his first appearance in the customer focus. Henning Solberg, who cleared the space at Stobart and is now driving a Ford Fiesta S2000, is tenth after the first day.


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