Kris Meeke has taken the lead of Rally RACC Catalunya with a 13.5-second margin over Ott Tanak after the first loop of day two’s action at the end of SS9.

With intermittent rain making conditions unpredictable in Spain the factory Citroen driver has charged ahead with an impressive showing to take a useful margin into the second loop on Saturday over M-Sport’s Tanak.

Day one leader Andreas Mikkelsen has slipped down to fifth place on a tough trio of stages for the Hyundai driver with WRC championship leader Sebastien Ogier also struggling for outright pace to see him move to third place in the classification in his M-Sport Ford.

Home round favourite Dani Sordo has moved up as top Hyundai driver in fourth place ahead of Mikkelsen with Juho Hanninen leading the Toyota charge in sixth after Jari-Matti Latvala was forced to retire with a mechanical issue.

Mads Ostberg is seventh for M-Sport in front of WRC title contender Thierry Neuville for Hyundai who is continuing to find it difficult to make progress down in eighth place as Esapekka Lappi (Toyota and Stephane Lefebvre (Citroen) complete the top ten contenders.