After 161 competitive kilometres, the Principe de Asturias Rally came to a thrilling conclusion at the end of day one on Friday, with Peugeot Belgium driver Nicolas Vouilloz and Abarth driver Giandomenico Basso both tied for the lead on exactly the same time.
Theoretically speaking, Basso is the leader as the rules state that in the case of a tie the driver with the quickest time on the first stage leads, which was Basso.
However, both drivers have put in a superlative performance throughout the day, with Basso leading for the first three stages and Vouilloz taking over the lead from SS4.
"You never know what to expect on these events, but I certainly didn't expect to finish with exactly the same time as Nicolas!" Basso admitted. "The car has been very reliable, which is important, and we've certainly shown the pace to be challenging amongst the frontrunners.
"Coping with the mixed conditions has not been easy, particularly when it comes to tyre choice, but I think we've come out of the first day with every chance of doing well tomorrow. With where we are in the championship, we have no choice but just to go for it so Saturday should be another exciting day."
"It's been an incredible way to finish the rally today!" added Vouilloz. "As the day went on I got more and more confidence and then I was able to push reasonably hard.
"Unfortunately we went on the intermediate tyre for the last two stages, which was the wrong decision, and I know that there are definitely some other places where I am losing time, but I prefer not to take any risks as we are in a strong position to score some good championship points here."
In third place overnight meanwhile was Peugeot Belgium's Freddy Loix, who won the final two stages of the day thanks to an audacious tyre choice.
"The set-up of our car was not quite right in the morning, but we gradually refined it as the day went on," said Loix. "To be honest, I didn't have a good feeling earlier: on one of the stages I went straight on.