Jan Kopecky was quickest on the opening evening of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge's maiden Targa Florio on Thursday night.
The works Skoda driver had to wait until some time after the Citta di Palermo spectator stage before being elevated to his deserved rally lead. Initially Rashid Al Ketbi's Skydive Skoda had been credited with the fastest result and a 3.3-second lead, but his time was disallowed as he had inadvertently taken the wrong route on part of the stage.
Kopecky therefore picked up the overnight lead with a 0.6-second advantage over Skoda UK's Andreas Mikkelsen, who is just a tenth in front of Paolo Andreucci's FPF Peugeot.
The rally commences in earnest on Friday morning.
Leading positions after SS1: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jan Kopecky Skoda 1m39.8s 2. Andreas Mikkelsen Skoda UK + 0.6s 3. Paolo Andreucci FPF Peugeot + 0.7s 4. Craig Breen Sainteloc Peugeot + 1.1s 5. Matteo Gamba Peugeot + 2.2s 6. Giandomenico Basso A-Style Ford + 2.4s 7. Sepp Wiegand Skoda Deutschland + 2.7s 8. Alessandro Perico United Peugeot + 2.9s 9. Umberto Scandola SA Skoda + 4.2s 10. Marco Runfola Peugeot + 5.7s