Dad-to-be Ogier wins opening Sardinia superstage

Dad-to-be Ogier wins opening Sardinia superstage

ALGHERO (ITALY) - Triple world champion Sebastien Ogier seized the early lead at the Rally of Sardinia on Thursday as the Volkswagen driver won the opening super special at Alghero.

French driver Sebastien Ogier is pictured on the first day of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship in Sardegna on June 9, 2016, in Alghero

The Frenchman completed the 2km course in 2min 0.4sec to edge out Estonia's Ott Tanak in a Ford Fiesta who along with Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala is just 0.3sec adrift.

Ogier admitted earlier in the day that he may not complete this weekend's race and even has a private plane waiting to whisk him away to his pregnant wife, television presenter Andrea Kaiser go into labour.

Their first child is due some time between the Italian race and the next one in Poland from July 1-3.

For Friday's first day there are more than 100km over eight specials with large crowds and fierce sun expected on the dry, dusty roads.

Ogier won the first two rallies of the season but has failed to climb the top step of the podium in three since then.

Yet the three-time world champion has nonetheless extended his lead over that period and has a comfortable 47-point gap to Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen in the standings.

The VW driver won in Sardinia the last three years in a row

Stage 1 results:

1. Sebastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (FRA/Volkswagen Polo-R) 2:00.4, 2. Ott Tänak-Raigo Molder (EST/Ford Fiesta RS) and Jari-Matti Latvala-Mikka Anttila (FIN/Volkswagen Polo-R) at 0.3, 4. Kevin Abbring-Sebastian Marshall (NED-GBR/Hyundai i20) and Andreas Mikkelsen-Anders Jaeger Synnevaag (NOR/Volkswagen Polo-R) at 0.6, 6. Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) and Hayden Paddon-John Kennard (NZL/Hyundai i20) at 1.3, 8. Dani Sordo-Marc Marti (ESP/Hyundai i20) at 1.6.

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