Sebastien Loeb kicked off his Rally Sweden campaign by going fastest on Thursday night’s superspecial, 0.5 seconds ahead of Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala and Qatar M-Sport Ford’s Evgeny Novikov.
Mads Ostberg and Mikko Hirvonen were both tied in fourth and fifth respectively, a further 0.2 seconds away from Loeb. Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo follow closely in sixth and seventh.
Sebastien Ogier, who went quickest on the day’s qualifying stage, was in a head-to-head battle with Loeb until he lost 2.5 seconds for swiping a snowbank in his Polo R WRC; he enters day 2 in 9th place.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 1h34m52s 2. Jari-Matti Latvala VW + 0.5s 3. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport Ford + 0.5s 4. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport Ford + 0.7s 5. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 0.7s 6. Thierry Neuville Qatar M-Sport Ford + 1.7s 7. Dani Sordo Citroen + 1.9s 8. Jarkko Nikara Prodrive Mini + 2.0s 9. Sebastien Ogier VW + 2.5s 10. Henning Solberg M-Sport Ford + 2.6s