Andreas Aigner leads following day one of the 'Rally of Nations' event, being run to cover Mexico's absence from this year's World Rally Championship calendar.
Aigner, who won the Production Car World Rally Championship last year, ended Friday's opening leg 31.1 seconds up on his fellow countryman, Manfred Stohl. Stohl had been on top but he slipped back to second when he had problems during the Scotiabank Super Special.
"The day has been good, we had no major problems," said Aigner. "The first stages were difficult because the road was very slippery and I was the first on the road, but the afternoon was fine."
Despite lying one-two though, Team Austria is only third in the Nations competition, 57.5 points behind Team Spain, which has 448.5 points on the board.
Spain's Dani Sola and Xavier Pons both went extremely well in the morning, but issues in the afternoon dropped them to fifth and eighth respectively. Sola lost time with a puncture, while Pons went off in SS5.
"The truth is that we did really well in the morning, we were in the lead and Spain won the first four stages, but in the afternoon we had a flat and Xavi had a problem with the oil radiator," Sola explained.
"As for the time, we are not in the first positions because we had to change the flat. With regards to points, we are ahead, which is the most important thing. Now we need to check the car so that we can give more tomorrow."
Meanwhile Didier Auriol and Brice Tirabassi ended day one third and fourth for France, although both are around a minute off P1.
Mark Wallenwein had a quiet but steady day and climbed to sixth, ahead of Sweden's Per-Gunnar Andersson, who was penalised 30 seconds for arriving three minutes late at the start of SS4.