Mads Ostberg was stunned by his Rally Sweden shakedown pace on his return to the World Rally Championship with Citroen.
Ostberg was 0.3 seconds shy of Thierry Neuville's benchmark on the 4.26-mile stage, but a second up on team-mate Kris Meeke.
Ostberg has only done around 150km (93 miles) in the C3 ahead of his one-off recall to the team, though he warmed up by winning the Finnskog Rally in his own Ford Fiesta WRC.
"After the test, the car felt OK, but not really good," Ostberg told Autosport. "I was surprised to see the speed at shakedown."
He said he had tried "extreme changes" to the Citroen after the test, based on his Ford experience.
"A lot was in my mind, we put it on the car and it's worked well," said Ostberg.
"It's big changes to the balance of the car and the suspension, the roll [bars] and diffs.
"It's easier to drive, which is more important than finding the maximum speed.
"After so little time in the car, the maximum speed's not so important as feeling comfortable."
Back with Citroen after a two year stint in 2014 and '15, Ostberg is determined to extend his return beyond Sweden.
"I put all my cards to Citroen, I have nothing else," he said.
"I feel really at home in the team, it was nice to be back with them even though it was some years ago; it's nice to hear the language you don't understand and see all the red people. Tomorrow is a big opportunity."
Returning Paddon ready for a fresh start
Hayden Paddon, who is sharing Hyundai's third car with Dani Sordo this year, is beginning his 2018 campaign in Sweden and keen to put a miserable '17 behind him.
He played down his shakedown pace, 3s off Neuville.
"Last year I set the car up for shakedown and that went well, but then it was hopeless for the rest of the event," Paddon told Autosport.
"I've learned from that this year. The car felt good in the test and that's more important for the rally.
"I believe the car's good and now we've just got to go do it. This is the most I've looked forward to a rally for a long time.
"Last year there was so much tension with so much going on around you, putting you on a bit of a downer. Now I'm relaxed."
Twelve months ago Paddon's Rally Sweden was overshadowed by his involvement in a Monte Carlo accident in which a spectator was killed.
"Here last year I struggled a lot with what had happened in Monte Carlo, so that alone puts me in a much more positive position [this year]," he added.