Petter Solberg was quickest on the Lisbon superspecial that opened Rally Portugal.
The Ford driver edged out Citroen's Sebastien Loeb by 0.1 seconds on the 3.27-kilometre asphalt course.
Their respective team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen were next up, with Ott Tanak's M-Sport Ford completing the top five ahead of the Minis of Dani Sordo (Prodrive) and local hero Armindo Araujo (Motorsport Italia).
The rally commences in earnest with three gravel stages after dark this evening.
Leading positions after SS1: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Petter Solberg Ford 2m57.1s 2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 0.1s 3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 0.7s 4. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 0.7s 5. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 2.8s 6. Dani Sordo Prodrive Mini + 3.8s 7. Armindo Araujo Portugal Mini + 4.3s 8. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior + 4.4s 9. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Citroen + 5.5s 10. Dennis Kuipers M-Sport Ford + 6.4s