Day one: 94.19 miles; 9 stages
Weather: sunshine 14 to 23 celsius Sebastien Ogier makes the most of the morning moisture hanging around on the stages to take lead from a very popular, Spanish-speaking Cordoba superspecial stage winner Dani Sordo. Ogier’s frustration is clear when he’s passed in a particularly gravelly fourth stage. The Frenchman ends the day third. Ogier’s Volkswagen team-mate and last round winner Jari-matti Latvala rules the opening afternoon with a masterful performance in his Polo R WRC. His closest rival is Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon. Having celebrated his 29th birthday during the week, the Kiwi is upbeat and very, very fast on Friday – and only slowed slightly by a dodgy left-rear damper. Andreas Mikkelsen has found his feet through Friday and settled into fourth place. Early leader Sordo was running fourth, but loses time when the throttle on his i20 sticks open in SS4. He’s fifth overnight. There’s more misfortune for Hyundai when the sister car of Thierry Neuville is forced to stop while the crew trace a disconnected sensor in the same stage. The Belgian recovers in the best possible fashion with fastest time in the following superspecial. He’s 10th at the end of the opening day. Mads Ostberg leads M-sport’s effort in sixth, with Henning Solberg and Eric Camilli following behind. Local hero Marcos Ligato is ninth after stopping to rip the front bumper off his car, having nudged a bank and blocked the air intake.