CLICK HERE for RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de Espana leaderboard after SS1

DMACK's Ott Tanak has taken the early lead on RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de Espana after topping the times in the rain-hit Barcelona street super special.

Tanak completed the 3.20km test in 3mins 47.6secs, 2.7secs up on Lorenzo Bertelli, with Sebastian Ogier, who is looking to secure his fourth world title this weekend, third - 0.8secs further back.

Related Articles

Tanak did, however, report differential issues: "A tricky stage but we have to check something now - the rear diff feels strange," he told the official WRC site.

"That's not a bad way to start the rally," Ogier added. "We knew that these [rainy] conditions would make it hard to beat the drivers who started in front of us, but all in all we drove a good stage and are happy.

"The route was extremely slippery, but not too bad to drive on. We are looking forward to tomorrow when the rally really gets going."

Behind, WRC2 runner Jan Kopecky was a shock fourth, ahead of the Citroen DS 3 WRCs of Craig Breen and Kris Meeke in joint fifth. Hyundai's Thierry Neuville then took seventh for Hyundai, remarking: "That was hell. It's raining very heavily and getting worse and worse. I aquaplaned near the start but managed to do a clean stage. I couldn't do much more in these conditions."

VW Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen was next up in eighth followed by Mads Ostberg, Hayden Paddon, Dani Sordo and Pontus Tidemand in positions 9 through to 12.

Jari-Matti Latvala was a lowly 15th and shocked by his time: "I thought the driving was okay but the time is bad. I don't understand it. Something is really wrong and I don't know what," he admitted.

RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de Espana now gets underway 'proper' on Friday with over 110 competitive kilometres on the bill.

SS2, the 12.50km Caseres 1 test, is due to start at 10.08 hours local time [09.08 hours UK time].