Andreas Mikkelsen leads Rally RACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada on his World Rally Championship debut for Hyundai Motorsport after edging ahead of Mads Ostberg on the opening leg.

The Norwegian driver has secured a new two-year deal with Hyundai for keep him at the team until the end of 2019 and is making his competitive debut for the manufacturer in Spain this weekend.

After WRC title contender Ott Tanak led the opening two stages, Mikkelsen grabbed his maiden stage win for Hyundai on the mixed surface SS3 Terra Alta 1 and with it the lead by 0.6s from M-Sport’s Ostberg.

WRC championship leader Sebastien Ogier nipped ahead of Tanak for third place at the end of SS3 after the Estonian driver nursed his Ford to the end of the stage with a suspected tyre puncture. Kris Meeke got his Spanish event off to a solid start by winning SS2 Bot 1 and is in fifth place in the classification for Citroen ahead of Hyundai pair Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville – the latter already over 15 seconds off the pace as he looks to cut the points deficit to championship leader Ogier.

Jari-Matti Latvala heads up the Toyota Gazoo Racing charge in eighth place ahead of fellow countryman and team-mate Juho Hanninen as Elfyn Evans in the M-Sport Ford rounded out the top ten.



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