• World championship leader careers off track
• Jari-Matti Latvala wins third special stage
The world championship leader, Sébastien Loeb, crashed out of the Rally de Portugal on the race’s opening day. Loeb careered off track shortly into the third special stage and will not restart the rally.
Loeb, eight times the world champion, had been expected to challenge in Portugal after wins in Monte Carlo and Mexico but appeared to misinterpret a navigational instruction.
Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala won the third special stage by over three seconds to snatch the overall lead away from his Ford team-mate Petter Solberg.
Solberg won both the Lisbon time trial and the second special stage to take an early lead but Latvala wiped it out to lead by half a second. Citroen’s remaining hope, Mikko Hirvonen, was third fastest, 3.5 seconds behind Latvala.