Evgeny Novikov emerged as a shock Acropolis Rally leader as Sebastien Ogier, Mikko Hirvonen and Mads Ostberg all hit trouble on the opening stage.
The 47-kilometer Kineta-Pissia stage claimed high-profile victims from the outset, including World Rally Championship points leader Ogier. The Frenchman stopped with what Volkswagen would only describe as a mechanical problem.
Hirvonen's Citroen made it to the finish despite a steering issue that cost him nearly six minutes, while Mads Ostberg reported that his M-Sport Ford's "wheel fell off" as he dropped three minutes.
Those that did make it through unscathed found themselves a long way off M-Sport driver Novikov's pace. Second-placed Dani Sordo's Citroen is 20.6 seconds down on the Russian, but 15.7sec ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala, who is now VW's main hope. The Finn's teammate Andreas Mikkelsen is fifth, behind Thierry Neuville.
Leg one of the shortened rally comprises just two stages, with the field now heading to service before tackling SS2 in darkness.