Citroen's Daniel Sordo leads the inaugural WRC event in Jordan at the end of day one, fractionally ahead of his team-mate, Sebastien Loeb.
Sordo was on it from the off, and was joint quickest with Petter Solberg in the opening test, the 13.03 kilometre-run through Suwayma.
The Spaniard then proceeded to set another quickest time in SS2, despite the fact the stages were very slippery, to establish an early 5.4 second lead, before increasing it to 15.1 seconds with his third stage win in a row in Mount Nebo 1.
Although he was 'only' joint fourth fastest in the final test of the morning, he still returned to the mid-day halt at the Dead Sea with a good advantage, 13.8 seconds up on his closest rival.
In the afternoon Dani hung onto the lead and while he was unable to repeat the kind of pace he had set on the opening loop - and was fourth fastest in SS5, SS7 and SS8 and second in SS6 - he still ended proceedings at the top of the leaderboard, albeit with his lead cut to just 1.1 seconds.
"We had been hoping that our position on the road would be favourable and it was," reflected the Spaniard.
"I am pleased with my start to the rally but we now have to try and defend our lead tomorrow, and that probably won't be easy."
Loeb was also content with his start to the event and like Sordo posted three quickest times, winning SS4, SS6 and SS7.
The Frenchman was more confident this afternoon, but conceded that the stages were like nothing he has competed on before.
"I had trouble settling into a good rhythm [this morning] which affected my driving and I had a couple of scares. We made a few small changes to the set-up of my car for the second loop and that felt much better," continued the four-time world champion.
"The gaps at the moment don't really signify much because I am sure it will be another tough day tomorrow."
BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Jari-Matti Latvala came in third and he is on course for the final spot on the podium, 7.4 seconds back in his Focus.
Although he slipped behind Seb on the repeat loop the Finn was happy to end the day in P3 and reckons he will now have a better position on the road on Saturday.