Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Henning Solberg had a steady start to the opening day of Rally díItalia Sardegna, the sixth round of FIA World Rally Championship, and is lying in eighth place after the opening three stages of day one. But team mate Matthew Wilson was hit by hydraulic problems at the start of SS1 and had to settle for 13th place going into the second pass of the stages this afternoon.

Solberg, who set the second fastest time on Thursdayís shakedown, showed good pace early on finishing sixth on the 14.99km SS1 Sa Conchedda. But he struggled on SS2 Loelle dropping down the field and at the end of the morning had been pushed down to eighth by fast-charging youngsters Sebastien Ogier, Evgeny Novikov and Mads Ostberg. But with the rough, dusty road conditions favouring those drivers starting further down the field this position could work to the Norwegianís advantage.

Wilson has been hampered by hydraulic problems this morning which meant that he lost significant chunks of time over the course of the opening loop of stages as he was forced to use the manual gear shift. His mechanics will work to resolve the problem before this afternoonís loop which sees the drivers take a second pass at the same three tricky stages.

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson said:
ďIt was a very difficult loop of stages for us. A pipe split less than one kilometre into the first stage and we lost all of the hydraulic oil. It was very difficult to drive as we didnít have paddle gear shift and lost time using the manual gear change. The worst problem was probably that the centre diff didnít work as that meant we lost a lot of the normal handling. We didnít get a first split so we donít know how much time we had lost. Hopefully we can get it sorted out in service and start our rally for real this afternoon.Ē

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Henning Solberg said:
ďI just havenít found the right feeling with the car this morning. Weíll work on it in service and see if we can make it better. Everything is fine but weíll change the front springs to see if itís possible to find a better level of grip this afternoon. Thereís no big problem, it just didnít feel great.Ē

Leaderboard after SS3
1. J-M Latvala/M Antilla (FIN) Ford Focus RS 42m40.2s
2. S Loeb/D Elena (FRA) CitroŽn C4 +14.6s
3. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen(FIN) Ford Focus RS +18.3s
4. P Solberg/P Mills (NOR) CitroŽn Xsara +21.2s
5. S Ogier/J Ingrassia (FRA) CitroŽn C4 +26.2s
6. E Novikov/D Moscatt (RUS) Citroen C4 +32.0s
7. Mads Ostberg/V Engen (NOR) Subaru Impreza +33.1s
8. H Solberg/C Menkerud (NOR) Ford Focus RS +38.0s
9. D Sordo/M Marti (ESP) CitroŽn C4 +1m02.4s
10. K Al Qassimi/M Orr (UAE) Ford Focus RS +1.24.8s
13. M Wilson/S Martin (GB) Ford Focus RS +1m45.0s

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