Sebastien Loeb leads Sebastien Ogier in a Citroen one-two after a cagey opening afternoon of Rally Finland.
Only two full-length stages and a superspecial took place this afternoon, with local ace and former S2000 frontrunner Jari Ketomaa making the most of a lowly road position to take the initial lead. But with the post-SS2 order setting tomorrow's start list, Ketomaa opted to ease off near the finish to avoid first on the road on Friday, putting the factory Citroen duo ahead, with Loeb leading Ogier by 2.8sec.
Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala is third, 4.4sec off the lead, with Ketomaa now 7sec away from the front in fourth.
Mikko Hirvonen suffered an early disaster when he slid into a tree after his Ford's engine cut out on the opening stage. Forced to struggle through the rest of the leg with suspension and brake damage thereafter, he is already two minutes away from the front.
Another local star Matti Rantanen had his Mini in a very promising sixth after SS1, but crashed heavily on SS2. The works Minis of Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke are sixth and ninth, with Petter Solberg's Citroen in fifth and S2000 leader Ott Tanak impressing again in seventh overall.
Leading positions after SS3:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 20m17.5s
2. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 2.8s
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 4.4s
4. Jari Ketomaa HJ-Autotalo Ford + 7.0s
5. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen + 12.6s
6. Dani Sordo Mini + 14.3s
7. Ott Tanak MM Ford + 17.3s
8. Mads Ostberg Stobart Ford + 18.6s
9. Kris Meeke Mini + 20.9s
10. Juho Hanninen Red Bull Skoda + 25.8s