|Thierry Neuville in his i20 WRC|
Loeb's younger compatriot; two times world champion Sebastien Ogier, took the next stage win and narrowed the gap to13.3s after the second and last stage for the day. Jari-Matti Latvala was second quickest in the second test, Loeb finished third, but still fast enough to keep the overall lead to Day 2.
|Loeb at the end of SS1|
|Elfyn Evans under hard-braking|
Perhaps it was the first few cars which cleared most of the ice from the racing lines, which helped Loeb gain the massive lead of 30.9s over his former team-mate and defending champion; and it was sufficient for catapulting him up the score-board. Most of the drivers ahead of the 9-timer, had difficulty in keeping the car on the road and had at least one off-road moment, and bled time in the process.
|Ogier claims SS2|
It was Bryan Bouffier and Robert Kubica who were cruising through the stage to complete the opening leg, yet the pole had to retire, electrical problems reported.
The action will resume on Friday morning at 09:56 hrs [local-time, GAP], in full day light, and the real battle is expected on this long day with six special stages.
Results Overall- After SS2
|Pos||#||Flag + Driver||Time||Diff Prev||Diff 1st|