Monte Carlo Rally winner Bryan Bouffier set the pace during Thursday's shakedown stage for Rally of Scotland.
The Frenchman was 0.2sec faster than Guy Wilks while Thierry Neuville completed an all-Peugeot top three a further 0.3s back.
Having tested earlier in the week, the Skoda and Proton teams elected not to take part in the official shakedown.
The only other driver who was close to the pace was Finland's Jarkko Nikara, who turned in a blistering time of 2m10.7s, less than 1s off Bouffier's 2m09.9s benchmark.
Driving his own Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, the Finn looks certain to give recently crowned British Rally champion David Bogie a run for his money in the Group N category.
The Rally of Scotland starts from Stirling Castle at 1900 on Friday evening, before tackling two runs through the new Carron Valley stage. The first car will arrive in Perth for service before two full days of competition through Perthshire on Saturday and Stirlingshire on Sunday.