Citroen dominated Saturday's first leg of the Catalunya Rally, winning all three stages as Dani Sordo maintained his slender lead over teammate Sebastien Loeb.
It was the reigning world champion that won the opening stage of the morning, El Priorat/La Ribera d'Ebre - the longest of the event at 38km. Loeb's advantage over Sordo was 1.6 seconds, leaving the pair on exactly the same overall time heading to SS8.
But Loeb and Sordo had to make do with second and third places on the 8km Les Garrigues stage as Citroen Junior driver Sebastien Ogier completed the course two tenths of a second faster.
Sordo then took his turn to win a stage on SS9, beating Loeb by just over a second and regaining the top spot in the overall classification, albeit by just 0.9 seconds.
The Fords of Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala continued to be out-paced by the Citroens and Hirvonen has now fallen to 44 seconds behind the lead pair. He admitted that he can't close the gap even by pushing hard, so has elected not to take any unnecessary risks for the remainder of the rally.
Ogier's Citroen Junior teammate Evgeny Novikov crashed out of the rally just 9km into the day's first stage. Petter Solberg continues to hold fourth place in his Citroen C4, with Ogier fifth and Latvala sixth.
Leading positions after SS9:
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Dani Sordo Citroen 1h47m15.6s 2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 0.9s 3. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 44.6s 4. Petter Solberg Citroen + 1m12.0s 5. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 1m30.7s 6. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 2m11.9s 7. Matthew Wilson Ford + 4m46.1s 8. Federico Villagra Ford + 5m22.2s 9. Henning Solberg Ford + 5m52.7s 10. Dany Snobeck Peugeot + 6m50.7s