Skoda driver Jan Kopecky (pictured) has lost three minutes on the opening stage with a front-right puncture. The Czech driver noticed the problem at the start of the stage and stopped to change the wheel, finishing the stage 38th fastest. He now faces an uphill struggle to secure
a top position.
"It was a terrible start," said Kopecky, who was also affected by a puncture in Monte Carlo last year. "I noticed the problem nearly straight away; we had no choice but to stop and change the wheel. Then I lost confidence for the rest of the stage. But at least there is still a long way to go."
His team mate Juho Hanninen, who led the Monte Carlo Rally on the opening day in 2009, had a much better start and is currently fourth.
"I took full wet tyres for the first stage and intermediates for the second one," he reported. "I think that was the right choice but so far this is an even more difficult Monte than last year."