Sebastien Loeb will lead into the first fully fledged stages of the Rally Argentina after winning Thursday night's Cordoba stadium superspecial.
The World Rally Champion – who is chasing a fifth consecutive Argentina victory this weekend – beat his title rival Mikko Hirvonen by a second on the short stage.
"It was OK, very slippery, very difficult and very easy to make a mistake on this stage," said Loeb. "I'm happy – no problems, we've got the best time and it's perfect."
Loeb's Citroen teammate Dani Sordo completed the top three, just a tenth of a second down on Hirvonen's Ford.
Petter Solberg (Solberg Citroen) was delighted to beat his brother Henning (Stobart Ford) by 0.6 seconds on their side-by-side run. The Norwegian siblings took fourth and fifth, ahead of Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, who is driving cautiously following his terrifying accident in Portugal.
"It might take me some time to get back in the right rhythm, but that's where we're here – to get it back," said Latvala.Leading positions after SS1:
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2m23.6s
2. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 1.0s
3. Dani Sordo Citroen + 1.1s
4. Petter Solberg Citroen + 1.9s
5. Henning Solberg Citroen + 2.5s
6. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 2.7s
7. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 4.0s
8. Matthew Wilson Ford + 5.0s
9. Federico Villagra Ford + 6.5s
10. Toshi Arai Subaru + 6.9s