Bruno Magalhaes has gone fastest in shakedown for Rally Islas Canarias, the second round of the 12-event Intercontinental Rally Challenge season
Driving a Peugeot 207 Super 2000, the Portuguese was two tenths of a second quicker than Norwegian Skoda Fabia driver Andreas Mikkelsen over the 2.55-kilometre practice course south of the rally base in Las Palmas.
"For sure this is a very good sign but shakedown is shakedown and the race is the race," Magalhaes told AUTOSPORT. "We were comfortable with the set-up and that gave me the confidence I needed. Whether we can win the rally is a different story because it will be a big fight with lots of fast drivers."
Jan Kopecky, the winner on Gran Canaria last year, was third in his works Fabia with Freddy Loix fourth and Thierry Neuville fifth.
Defending IRC champion Juho Hanninen was seventh, 0.1s slower than Peugeot UK driver Guy Wilks.
Rallye Monte-Carlo winner Bryan Bouffier was eighth fastest, one place ahead of Toni Gardemeister, who is starting his first event for his self-run team.
The factory Proton Satria Neos of Giandomenico Basso and PG Andersson were 11th and 13th fastest respectively.
The first of the 12 Tarmac stages gets underway on Friday afternoon. The competitive action will be contained in a 24-hour window.
The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season