Thierry Neuville leads the proceedings at the Croatia Rally

As expected, it is the driver who opens the road in Croatia who manages to lead the debates during this first day, contested for the moment in spring conditions. Thierry Neuville, who therefore has the privilege of starting first thanks to his status as leader of the Championship, signed the scratch in three of the four special stages of the morning, and logically occupies first place after this first loop.

The Belgian was nevertheless not delighted at the finish of SS4 which he dominated. “I can’t attack,” he regretted. I have to be really careful, there’s no room to go any faster. And yet I would like to. »

Despite these regrets, Neuville is not too bothered by his rivals for the moment. Only Elfyn Evans (Toyota), winner of SS2, managed to hang on, 8″6 behind after these four specials. But Sébastien Ogier (Toyota), back in the Championship almost three months after the Monte- Carlo, 6th to hit the road, is already 21″5 behind. Which is not so bad, to hear the Gapençais: “I think we can be satisfied with this loop. We lost ground as expected, but it should go better this afternoon. »

The other Frenchman competing in Rally1, Adrien Fourmaux (Ford M-Sport), who remains on two podiums in Sweden and Kenya, also limits the damage, and occupies 5th position, 41.6″ from Neuville, behind Ott Tänak (Hyundai), 4th at 37”3. Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota), 6th, is already well behind with 1’12″2 behind.

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