Ford dominated qualifying for the WRC Rally of Portugal, with Jari-Matti Latvala ending the three-mile stage 1.771 seconds up.
Running in championship order, Latvala backed up his fastest time in the morning's free practice with an unbeaten time of 3m01.884s.
"Sometimes you have to take risks," Latvala said. "It felt good and I really enjoyed the drive."
Latvala's teammate Petter Solberg was second fastest in qualifying ahead of Citroen pair Mikko Hirvonen and Sebastien Loeb. With qualifying finished, the drivers will select their positions on the road, with Latvala the first to chose.
Ford team director Malcolm Wilson was not giving anything away on the strategy his drivers would take, saying: "We've got a meeting now. We'll talk about where the guys are going on the road once we have sat down and been through everything. We'll be looking at the latest weather predictions and taking everything into account."
Ordinarily on a gravel rally running further back down the field would be the best place, but the desire for a clean road is balanced by the potential for dust on the opening loop of gravel stages – run in the dark – on Thursday night.
Championship leader Loeb, who was 2.348s behind Latvala's benchmark, said: "I would like to have had a good time, but we took no risks. The stage was very tricky."
Nasser Al-Attiyah suffered a spin in the stage, dropping around 15 seconds. The Citroen DS3 WRC driver ended the session with the slowest time, but he won't be the last driver to select his position, the dubious honor going instead to Paulo Nobre, who crashed his Mini off the road.
The Brazilian said: "I went off at slow speed. I had made a mistake earlier in the stage and this had distracted me."