Perfect start of first comeback rally for Jari-Matti Latvala. Ford’s ace managed to pull a blinder on first proper special stage of 2012 Acropolis Rally and stunned everyone by beating Sebastien Loeb by 2.8 seconds on 25.24 kilometer SS 1.
Of course, it’s only one stage and Loeb admitted of not going full out, plus Latvala’s advantage is not what you’d call safe or comfortable. However, seeing he is doing his first rally after injury it’s great to see him in good shape. And keeping it together and not pushing beyond his and car’s limits should be the order of the rally for Mr. Latvala – he needs points!
Third place on SS1 went to Mikko Hirvonen, but main star was Petter Solberg. Norwegian opted for softer tyres and claims it was his own mistake and he should have listened to team. Can it really be team allowed him to pull this obviously bad trick or is there a deeper tactics involved? Oh, theories. Either way, Solberg is 14.6 seconds behind team mate Latvala and within striking distance to Evgeny Novikov, but this is not a biggie I would assume.
Now, did Ford made a mistake already in allowing Petter to roll on softs and destroy them completely, losing a large chunk of time along the way?