WRC - Ogier storms into early lead in Italy

Sebastien Ogier dominated the opening morning of Rally Italy, quickly establishing a 20-second lead.

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WRC - Ogier storms into early lead in Italy
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Sebastien Ogier (AFP)

The Volkswagen driver won two of the morning's three stages as he pulled away from Mikko Hirvonen's Citroen.

Ogier's VW team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala could in theory be right on the championship leader's tail, having won SS2 and been just 0.3 seconds slower than the Frenchman on SS3.

But a puncture for Latvala on SS1 means he is one minute 55 seconds back in seventh overall.

M-Sport Ford's Evgeny Novikov initially challenged Hirvonen for second, only to roll out near the start of the second stage.

His team-mate Mads Ostberg then took up the chase, completing the loop just 4.4 seconds behind Hirvonen.

The second Citroen of Dani Sordo is another 7.3 seconds back in fourth, with Thierry Neuville a further 8.1 seconds adrift for M-Sport after a spin on SS3.

Robert Kubica holds a commanding 50 seconds lead in WRC2, despite a high-speed spin on the last stage of the morning.

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