Last year's Rally Portugal winner Sebastien Ogier continued where he left off on the 2010 event, topping this evening's shakedown stage.
The Citroen driver collected his first World Rally Championship victory on the event last May and then set the fastest time around the three-mile shakedown test, which is being run tonight to make way for an opening stage in the nation's capital city Lisbon tomorrow.
Ogier was one tenth of a second faster than his Citroen teammate Sebastien Loeb, with top Ford man Jari-Matti Latvala two tenths of a second down on the series champion.
"We made no major changes to the car, just some small details," said Ogier. "I'm happy."
Norwegian privateers Petter Solberg (Citroen) and Mads Ostberg (Ford) were fourth and fifth fastest, with the latter especially happy with his pre-event test.
"The test and shakedown have gone really well for us," he said. "I have good confidence with the car at the moment. We made some changes to the car set-up at pre-event and we have continued with this work at shakedown. It's good, we're ready to start the rally now."
All eyes were on the newest rally car in the world at shakedown this evening, with Armindo Araujo and Daniel Oliveira running the Mini John Cooper Works S2000 for the first time. Oliveira went off the road briefly on his first quick run. Araujo was the faster of the two Prodrive-built machines, posting a time 10.4sec down on Ogier's benchmark.
The shakedown stage was stopped briefly when Ken Block crashed his Fiesta RS WRC heavily. The American and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino were taken to a nearby hospital for a check-up. The Monster Ford is reported to be destroyed after rolling five times.