Sebastien Ogier took an early lead in the Jordan Rally as the event finally got under way a day later than planned.
After the transport issues that caused such a fraught build-up for the World Rally Championship fraternity, the Jordan round kicked off with SS7 this morning.
World champion Sebastien Loeb was quickest on the opener, but his Citroen teammate Ogier had the advantage after that, moving into a joint lead with Loeb following SS8 and then pulling clear on the 41-kilometer Jordan River stage.
Petter Solberg was quickest on SS8 Kafrain and might have set the Jordan River pace, too, had he not had a quick trip off the road and been concerned about overheating thereafter. Even with those problems, the Solberg Citroen was second quickest on the stage and moved up to second place overall, 7.2sec behind Ogier and 0.2sec ahead of Loeb.
Jari-Matti Latvala is currently the top Ford in fourth and also within 9.8sec of the lead, while his teammate Mikko Hirvonen has struggled badly with running first on the road and is already 51sec adrift in fifth. He is just ahead of Stobart Ford driver Mads Ostberg, who was unhappy with his early performance as he tackles Jordan for the first time.
Kimi Raikkonen (Ice 1 Citroen) got off to a strong start with sixth place on SS7 but could not maintain that pace and is now eighth behind Stobart's Matthew Wilson.
The third Stobart car of Henning Solberg is already out after an impact with a rock damaged the Ford's engine.
Leading positions after SS9:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen 46m49.3s
2. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen + 7.2s
3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 7.4s
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 9.8s
5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 51.5s
6. Mads Ostberg Stobart Ford + 55.1s
7. Matthew Wilson Stobart Ford + 1m26.2s
8. Kimi Raikkonen Ice 1 Citroen + 1m30.8s
9. Nasser Al-Attiyah Barwa Ford + 2m07.9s
10. Khalid Al Qassimi Abu Dhabi Ford + 2m19.8s