Meanwhile Le Mans 24 Hours and former F1 racer Stéphane Sarrazin went into the overnight stop in fourth position, driving the same MINI John Cooper Works S2000 Dani Sordo used to win in Corsica last season.
Rallying legend and former Tour de Corse winner François Delecour is fifth despite suffering two broken exhaust manifolds and a misted windscreen, while fellow Frenchman Julien Maurin is sixth with Jean-Marc Manzagol the leading Corsican driver in seventh, one place ahead of Jean-Mathieu Leandri.
Andreas Aigner (Subaru Impreza) heads a close battle for the ERC Production Car Cup in ninth with Germain Bonnefis 4.5s behind in his Renault Mégane RS. Bonnefis and Aigner will be running first and second on the road respectively on Saturday morning, although in fact Bonnefis will be assisted by the wheel tracks of Kris Meekes is is driving the course-opening zero car (a Peugeot 208 R2) as a road sweeper ahead of them.
Daniel Oliveira is 11th for the Brazil World Rally Team with Pierre-Antoine Guglielmi leading the ERC two wheel division in a Clio R3. Kornél Lukács holds second on his Corsica debut with Vasily Gryazin third. Molly Taylor is the leading ERC Ladies' Trophy contender in fourth. Jaroslav Orsák is the top GPD Mit Metal Racing driver in 16th, one place ahead of team-mate Antonín Tlusťák, while Marco Tempestini is the Napoca Rally Academy's leading contender in 24th.
Lorenzo Bertelli and co-driver Mitia Dotta were unharmed when their Ford Fiesta RRC caught fire on stage five, which was halted to enable a fire unit to attend the scene. Somewhat miraculously the damage was limited and they will restart on Saturday and compete over a demanding route that takes in five stages for a combined distance of 109.65 kilometres, begining with the Carbuccia-Tavera stage at 10:48am local time.
Saturday's first and second runs through Sarrola–Liamone will both be broadcast live by Eurosport and France 3 Corsica: SS8 is at 12noon local time with SS11 at 6pm local time.
End of Day 1
1. #1 J Kopecky (CZE)/P Dresler (CZE) Skoda Motorsport 1:28:49.0s
2. #5 B Bouffier (FRA)/X Panseri (FRA) Peugeot 207 S2000 + 3.6s
3. #2 C Breen (IRL)/P Nagle (IRL) Peugeot Rally Academy + 39.8s
4. #8 S Sarrazin (FRA)/J Renucci (FRA) First Motorsport + 54.0s
5. #3 F Delecour (FRA)/D Savignoni (FRA) Peugeot 207 S2000 + 1:59.0s
6. #11 J Maurin (FRA)/N Klinger (FRA) Ford Fiesta S2000 + 2:08.6s
7. #10 J Manzagol (FRA)/E Patrone (FRA) Peugeot 207 S2000 + 3:42.6s
8. #9 J Leandri (FRA)/R Jamoul (BEL) Sainteloc Racing + 4:20.6s
9. #17 A Aigner (AUT)/J Heigl (AUT) Stohl Racing + 4:30.4s
10. #16 G Bonnefis (FRA)/O Fournier (FRA) Renault Sport Technologie + 4:34.9s
11. #4 D Oliveira (BRA)/C Magalhães (PRT) Brazil World Rally Team + 4:39.2s
12. #36 P Guglielmi (FRA)/J Porcu (FRA) Renault Clio R3 + 4:59.6s
13. #20 J Marchi (FRA)/X Nanni (FRA) Erreffe Rally Team + 5:42.9s
14. #14 J Raoux (FRA)/F Mazotti (FRA) Peugeot 207 S2000 + 7:01.0s
15. #47 K Lukács (HUN)/M Mesterhazi (HUN) Tatai Aréna SE + 8:19.6s
16. #15 J Orsák (CZE)/D Šmeidler (CZE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX R4 + 8:43.6s
17. #22 A Tlusták (CZE)/L Vyoral (CZE) GPD Mit Metal Racing Team + 8:52.6s
18. #44 V Gryazin (LVA)/D Chumak (RUS) Sports Racing Technologies + 9:44.4s
19. #50 L Pomponi (FRA)/S Savoie (FRA) Peugeot 208 R2 + 10:26.4s
20. #39 M Taylor (AUS)/S Marshall (GBR) United Rally Management + 10:58.6s
21. #34 P Quilici (FRA)/A Gorguilo (FRA) Renault Mégane RS + 11:06.3s
22. #52 A Agostini (FRA)/A Leandri (FRA) Renault Clio Sport + 11:41.7s
23. #38 P Boschetti (FRA)/B Manzo (FRA) Renault Clio Sport + 12:07.1s
24. #30 M Tempestini (ROU)/D Pulpea (ROU) Napoca Rally Team + 12:08.3s
25. #29 J Sanchez (FRA)/J Scelo (FRA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4 + 12:10.7s
PD = Production Car Cup
2WD = Two wheel drive