Mikko Hirvonen has secured the overnight lead on Rally Portugal after setting the quickest time on the opening run through the Algarve Stadium Super Special stage.

The BP Ford Abu Dhabi driver set a time of 2min 09.3secs on his run through the stage which prevented Munchi's Ford driver Federico Villagra from spending the night on top of the times ahead of the first six stages proper on Friday.

Villagra had to settle for second place, just 0.1secs behind the Finn, while Petter Solberg was the quickest Citroen driver at the wheel of his privately entered C4 WRC.

The first of the factory cars in the hands of Dani Sordo was fourth from Henning Solberg's Stobart Ford and Sebastien Ogier, who complained of understeer in his Citroen Junior Team C4 on the asphalt surface.

Matthew Wilson was seventh quickest ahead of championship leader Sebastien Loeb, while Kimi Raikkonen and Ken Block ended the evening with the same time after a dead-heat in the stage, with the pair rounding out the top ten as a result.

Rally New Zealand winner Jari-Matti Latvala was eleventh. 2.3secs off the pace of his team leader.

Rally Portugal - After SS1 (Top ten):

1. Mikko Hirvonen BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 02mins 09.3secs M
2. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford Focus WRC +00mins 00.1secs M
3. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen C4 WRC +00mins 00.7secs A8
4. Dani Sordo Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC +00mins 00.8secs M
5. Henning Solberg Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC +00mins 00.9secs M
6. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC +00mins 01.0secs M
7. Matthew Wilson Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC +00mins 01.2secs M
8. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC +00mins 01.5secs M
9. Kimi Raikkonen Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC +00mins 01.7secs M
10. Ken Block MWRT Ford Focus RS WRC +00mins 01.7secs A8


11. Jari-Matti Latvala BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 00mins 02.3secs M

all times unofficial