Sebastien Ogier closes in on the 2014 WRC crown.
Sebastien Ogier leads Rally Spain by 36.6 seconds over Volkswagen Jari-Matti Latvala after the first leg on Friday. Mads Ostberg isn't far behind Latvala in third.
However, that top three is slightly misleading. Thierry Neuville challenged Ogier and even led the rally after SS6, but a puncture in the next stage dropped him all the way down to ninth, two and a half minutes adrift of the top spot.
Many drivers already facing adversity
Latvala made an impressive comeback after hitting a rock in the morning and struggling at the backend of the top ten. Dani Sordo lost a lot of valuable time waiting on the start line when his co-driver miscalculated their start time. Kris Meeke was unable to continue after SS3 when he dropped the right side wheels off, suffering damage.
Hayden Paddon became the first New Zealander to win a stage since 1999, doing so in SS3. His lead was short-lived though, spinning and puncturing two tyres in the following stage. Elfyn Evans went off three separate times, finally retiring after damaging the radiator.
Current Running Order
1. Sebastien Ogier - Volkswagen
2. Jari-Matti Latvala - Volkswagen
3. Mads Ostberg - Citroen
4. Andreas Mikkelsen - Volkswagen
5. Mikko Hirvonen - Ford
6. Robert Kubica - Ford
7. Dani Sordo - Hyundai
8. Martin Prokop - Ford
9. Thierry Neuville - Hyundai
10. Nasser Al-Attiyah - M-Sport Ford (WRC2 leader)