Dani Sordo and Petter Solberg set the pace, Jari-Matti Latvala leads, Mikko Hirvonen crashes out and Sébastien Loeb toils on an eventful first day in Finland.
Hirvonen, one of the Finnish home favourites as winner last year in the Ford Focus WRC, suffered a huge crash on stage four after rolling his car five times out of what he had, ironically, described as his favourite stage on the whole WRC tour. Though hospital checks cleared Mikko and co-driver Jarno Lehtinen, their rally is resolutely over.
There were no such problems for his slightly surprised team-mate and countryman Latvala, who leads after day one, though privateer Citroën C4 driver Solberg inherited the advantage initially after Hirvonen’s off.
After suffering damage to his C4 early on, world champion Loeb finds himself fourth on day one, 32 seconds off the lead after 10 stages, with his fellow Frenchman and team-mate for this event, Sébastien Ogier, lying just ahead of him in third place.
Dani Sordo (pictured) had a good day in the Citroën Junior Team C4, winning stage five, and he remains fifth, almost two minutes ahead of Matthew Wilson in sixth.
In a separate battle for supremacy, Finnish legend Juha Kankkunen, guesting in a Focus, lies just 11.6s ahead of his illustrious countryman Kimi Räikkönen in the Junior Team Citroën, with the pair, who are aiming to beat one another this weekend, lying seventh and eighth respectively.