Mikko Hirvonen took 1.2 seconds out of Sébastien Loeb on SS8, Lankamaa 1 to trim his deficit to five seconds before service.
Rally FInland could be shaping up to be a DS3 duel for the win.
Mikko Hirvonen set a blistering time of 5:29.6 on the 11.38km stage, 0.6s quicker than team-mate Loeb to cut the lead to 3.8 seconds.
Hirvonen pulled 3.2 seconds out of Rally Finland leader, Loeb to trim the Frenchman’s lead to 4.4 seconds as the rally now heads to service.
The Frenchman is not a big fan of early starts, but with best time on Friday’s first test he increased his lead over Mikko Hirvonen to 7.6s.
Despite starting ahead of his rivals, Sébastien Loeb put in a rally master class to end day one of Rally Finland with a 7.3 seconds lead from Mikko Hivonen and Jari-Matti Latvala.
After choosing a safe 10th place starting spot, championship leader Sébastien Loeb set best time on SS1 Koukunmma, 1.6 seconds head of Petter Solberg.
Sébastien Loeb has won round 3 of the World Rally Championship, Rally Mexico. The Frenchman never turned a wheel wrong over the 400+ kilometres over the three days of running in the Mexican high-altitude.
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