Dani Sordo on the provisional podium
Dani Sordo and Marc Marti returned to the service area in Mikolajki in third position after this morningís run. The loop was marked by the elimination of Sťbastien Loeb and Daniel Elena after their CitroŽn C4 WRC clouted a tree stump.

The 2009 Rally Poland kicked off with Thursday eveningís super-special adjacent to the service area which saw Sťbastien Loeb collect the second best time behind Petter Solberg.

The five-time World Champion followed that up by moving to the top of the order thanks to another second quickest time on the first of the morningís extremely fast stages, Grabowka (SS2). A little later, however, Sťbastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were forced out on SS4 (Paprotki): "There was a tree stump on our line and we hit it. It wasnít in our pacenotes, and neither Dani Sordo nor Sťbastien Ogier had noted it either. You canít see it on the video. Itís just bad luck. Itís often said in France that you never get two in a row, without a third, and todayís incident is our third setback in succession. We will rejoin tomorrow thanks to the SupeRally ruling, but with a 20-minute penalty. Itís obviously not all that stimulating a prospect but weíve still got a chance to pick up some Manufacturersí points."

Dani Sordo and Marc Marti were regularly up with the front-runners and completed the morningís run in third place, 14.7 seconds off the lead: "Todayís three stages are a real challenge. The roads here are very fast and you need to be fully concentrated. There were some particularly delicate spots, and we made a small mistake three kilometres from the finish of SS4. The note came a bit late and we went straight on. I am disappointed for Sťbastien; he doesnít deserve to be this unlucky. Personally, I intend to stick to the same sort of pace. First of all, though, we will change the set-up of my C4 WRC to try to adapt its handling to the ruts which formed during this morningís run."

The CitroŽn Junior Team also lost a car, that of Evgeny Novikov and Dale Moscatt. Their CitroŽn C4 WRC figured in fifth position after SS3, but the front-right damper broke following an awkward landing shortly before the finish of SS4.

Sťbastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia started the day cautiously on these stages which are new to all the front-runners. They are currently sixth: "Itís very fast out there and you need to be fully focused all the time. We decided to take our time to bed ourselves in because it is difficult to drive these stages quickly. You really need to feel confident before you can start to loosen up. A spin on the last stage probably cost us about 15 seconds. I prefer to take my time to find my marks at these speeds."

Conrad Rautenbach and Daniel Barritt ended the first loop inside the top-10: "I probably pushed a little too hard on the first test and my car was sliding about a bit too much. After that, I didnít really manage to find a pace at which I felt comfortable. I need to get a feel for these extremely fast stages. They are very different to those of the events we have just tackled. We will work on the car now to adapt the set-up for what I expect will be rougher conditions this afternoon."

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