Andreas Mikkelsen opened up a narrow lead over Jan Kopecky during the first three stages of Rally Islas Canarias round two of the 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Although Mikkelsen (Skoda UK) had been skeptical about his chances of taking a fourth straight IRC victory as he has never won on asphalt so far, he was fractionally quickest on every stage so far this morning and pulled out a 3.6sec lead over Skoda Motorsport's Kopecky.
As expected, the two factory Skoda drivers have left the rest of the field trailing in their wake.
Event promoter Luis Monzon holds an impressive third place in his Peugeot 207, just ahead of the Red Bull Skoda of Hermann Gassner Jr., while Alberto Hevia and Sepp Wiegand are battling for fifth in another pair of Skoda Fabias.
Leading positions after SS3:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Andreas Mikkelsen Skoda UK 28m23.2s
2. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 3.6s
3. Luis Monzon Canarias Peugeot + 31.1s
4. Hermann Gassner Jr Red Bull Skoda + 37.6s
5. Alberto Hevia AMP Classic Skoda + 46.1s
6. Sepp Wiegand Skoda Deutschland + 47.3s
7. Jonathan Perez AMP Classic Peugeot + 1m16.2s
8. Joan Vinyes Suzuki Iberica + 1m40.6s
9. Oleksii Tamrazov Ukraine Ford + 1m41.5s
10. Gorka Antxustegi Suzuki Iberica + 1m57.5s