Rallying-Rovanpera leads after opening day in Estonia

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(Reuters) - Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera led after the first day of Rally Estonia on Friday with an 8.5 second advantage over Hyundai's Craig Breen.

The Finn, who lives in the Baltic country, won six of the day's eight stages south of Tartu after also finishing fastest in Thursday night's super-special opener.

World championship leading team mate Sebastien Ogier was in fourth place, 59.4 seconds off the pace, after leading the way on the loose gravel roads.

"This is like a second home rally for Kalle and we knew he’d be fast here, but he has been even better than I expected today," said Toyota team boss Jari-Matti Latvala.

"With the hot weather there’s been a lot of loose gravel, so Seb has done a really excellent performance as the first car on the road."

Belgian Thierry Neuville was in third place overall for Hyundai with Toyota's Elfyn Evans fifth.

Estonian Ott Tanak, the 2019 world champion, had to retire his Hyundai after a spate of punctures left him without enough spares to continue.

Saturday features nine stages and 132.18 km of competitive action.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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