Leading World Rally drivers have labeled today's Rally Australia stages as dangerous, with the tricky conditions ruling both factory Citroens out.
Sebastien Ogier hit a tree on the Shipmans stage, following his teammate Sebastien Loeb into retirement. Heavy rain this morning had left the New South Wales roads difficult to drive, with Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala feeling conditions were dangerous.
"We had a few moments in that [Shipmans] stage," said the Finn. "A couple of times I hit the bank. I expected it to be difficult, but I would even say it was dangerous."
Latvala's Ford teammate Mikko Hirvonen echoed those sentiments, saying: "Every time you brake, it's like ice, it was unbelievably slippery."
The drivers' job is being made more difficult by the fact that they are having to use the hard compound tire selected by Michelin.
"There's no grip from the tire," said Hirvonen,"it's terrible."
Third-placed driver Petter Solberg was another driver to go off the road on the afternoon's opening test. The Norwegian said the conditions were the worst he had ever experienced.
"This is even worse than Wales," said Solberg. "I went off early in the stage. I've never seen conditions like this."