Indonesian driver Rifat Sungkar leads the Rally of New Caledonia after four stages with Scotsmen Alister McRae in a Proton Satria S2000 9 seconds off the lead.
Katsu Taguchi is third but has slight mis-fire that the team hope to fix at first service tomorrow. Australian Chris Atkinson is 4th, 19 behind Sungkar but he too has complained of a down on power engine that hopefully will be rectified tomorrow.
Luckiest driver of the event is Gaurav Gill who crashed off on the last run through shakedown, just two hours before stage 1. Luckily the MRF Mitsubishi was not damaged but it took several hours to extract the car from the precarious location where it landed. With only minutes to spare the car was back on the road and out of the stage. No time to check for damage, just new tyres and off. The team will be busy at first service.
Other incidents through the day were Daniel Palua off during shakedown, Subhan Aksa loosing a wheel on Stage 1 and dropping to 11th place, Jari Ketomma loosing a tyre off the and falling to last place – 6 minutes behind the leader.
The action resumes tomorrow, with the finish on Sunday.