Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Kris Meeke was quickest on the superspecial stage that kicked off the Rally Argentina.
The Peugeot UK driver had a scare on this morning's shakedown when he broke a wishbone on a rock, but when the real action started he set a benchmark time of 2m32.8sec around the Carlos Paz asphalt stage, which the crews had to tackle on gravel tires in the rain.
"We had a good enough run but you can lose everything, especially with the rain coming – it was impossible to tell what grip you had," Meeke said. "I enjoyed it, the fans are incredible. The number of people here is unbelievable."
Bruno Magalhaes took a surprise second place on the stage for Peugeot Portugal, ahead of Skoda trio Guy Wilks, Jan Kopecy and Juho Hanninen.
Local hero Federico Villagra was only sixth in his first competitive outing in the S2000 Ford, but ended the stage concerned by some smoke from his car.
Nasser Al-Attiyah currently runs eighth on his IRC debut in the Barwa Skoda.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Kris Meeke Peugeot 2m32.8s
2. Bruno Magalhaes Peugeot + 1.4s
3. Guy Wilks Skoda + 2.2s
4. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 2.9s
5. Juho Hanninen Skoda + 2.9s
6. Federico Villagra Ford + 7.8s
7. Miguel Baldoni Mitsubishi + 8.4s
8. Nasser Al-Attiyah Skoda + 9.2s
9. Daniel Oliveira Peugeot + 9.3s
10. Gabriel Pozzo Subaru + 9.5s