Sebastien Ogier will take a 5.5-second lead over Dani Sordo into day two of the Rally of Turkey, but Mikko Hirvonen is looming close behind in third.
Citroen Junior driver Ogier gradually edged away from the field today, and increased his gap over Sordo (Citroen) by 3sec on this evening's superspecial, where Ogier was second only to Citroen team leader Sebastien Loeb.
The usual frontrunners have been biding their time on leg one, keen to avoid running first on the dusty roads tomorrow. Hirvonen is arguably in the strongest position as he sits third, 12sec down on Ogier, while Loeb is fifth behind Petter Solberg, and 27.5sec adrift of the lead. He also has Ford number two Jari-Matti Latvala just 2.6sec behind him.
Ogier's teammate Kimi Raikkonen was fifth fastest on the Istanbul superspecial as he completed what has been comfortably his best day in the World Rally Championship so far. He is currently eighth, 7.7sec behind Munchi's Ford's Federico Villagra, and only 1m50s away from the lead. Matthew Wilson (Stobart Ford) trails Raikkonen by 14s.
Ott Tanak – the only Pirelli Star Driver still running after a bruising start for the young driver scheme pack in Turkey – holds a lonely 10th overall.
In the Junior series, Kevin Abbring lost his early lead to brake problems so now sits third, only 13.8s behind leader Aaron Burkart, who is being closely pursued by newcomer Theirry Neuville.