European Rally Championship leader Jan Kopecky claimed the early advantage on home ground as he topped Friday night's superspecial in Zlin.
In front of a huge crowd on the Czech streets, Kopecky produced a time of 7m06.7s for his three laps of the three-kilometre course.
That was 3.2 seconds faster than nearest rival Vaclav Pech's Mini, with Ford man Tomas Kostka a further 6s down in third.
Kopecky's factory Skoda team-mates Sepp Wiegand and Esapekka Lappi were comfortably overshadowed, ending their evenings in fifth and seventh places.
Pavel Valousek was fourth in another Ford, while sometime factory World Rally Championship driver Roman Kresta was sixth in his self-run Skoda.
Leading positions after SS1:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jan Kopecky Skoda 7m06.7s 2. Vaclav Pech Invelt Mini +3.2s 3. Tomas Kostka Rufa Ford +9.2s 4. Pavel Valousek Delimax Ford +9.7s 5. Sepp Wiegand Skoda +10.5s 6. Roman Kresta Adell Mogul Skoda +10.6s 7. Esapekka Lappi Skoda +10.9s 8. Jaromir Tarabus AK Skoda +13.3s 9. Jan Jelinek SAS Zlin Skoda +17.8s 10. Jaroslav Orsak GPD Mitsubishi +20.6s