FIRST STAGE, FIRST WIN: French VW Polo R driver Sebastien Ogier and co-pilot Julien Ingrassia during the first special stage of the 2015 Rally of Finland in Jyvaskyla. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva via AP
JYVSKYL, Finland - World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier topped the time charts on Thursday's (July 30 2015) opening stage of the Rally of Finland but less than a second covers the top three drivers.
The Frenchman led on the streets of Jyvaskyla, which had been made treacherous by heavy rain in the run-up to the start, by just 0.6sec in his Volkswagen Polo.
Kris Meeke was second in a Citroen DS 3 with Andreas Mikkelsen completing the top three, 0.8sec off the lead in another Polo.
LONG DAY, TWO PASSES
"It's never easy in the street stages, so easy to make a small mistake," Ogier told www.wrc.com. "It was better to start at the back because the roads were drying minute by minute for each car.
"Friday will be a long day with two passes through the mythical Ouninpohja stage and no service, but the conditions are beautiful and the stages fantastic.
"I'm really looking forward to it."
2015 Rally of Finland standings after Thursday's first stage:1 Sebastien Oier/Julien Ingrassia (FRA/VW Polo-R) 1min48.6
2 Kris Meeke /Paul Nagle (GBR/Citron DS3) +0.6sec
3 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Floene (NOR/VW Polo-R) +0.8
4 Robert Kubica/Maciek Szczepaniak (POL/Ford Fiesta RS) +1.1
5 Jari-Matti Latvala/Mikka Anttila (FIN/Volkswagen Polo-R) +1.6
6 Mads Ostberg/Jonas Andersson (NOR-SWE/Citrominn DS3) +1.7
7 Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek (CZE/Ford Fiesta RS) +1.9
8 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) +2.6
9 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (ESP/Hyundai i20) +3.0
10 Ott Tanak/Raigo Molder EST/Ford Fiesta RS) +3.9