Thierry Neuville has made the most of the thick snow conditions at Rally Sweden to secure a narrow lead over Hyundai teammate Andreas Mikkelsen at the end of Friday’s first loop.

With those first on the road struggling with conditions the most, moving Toyota’s Ott Tanak to blast Rally Sweden organisers, Neuville has profited with an impressive stage three victory to take the lead off the Estonian driver.

But Neuville saw his overall lead trimmed to 3.7 seconds at the end of stage four as Andreas Mikkelsen clinched the Rojden 1 stage win but the top five remain split by 15 seconds to set up an intensely competitive Rally Sweden.

Toyota’s Esapekka Lappi sits third on the timesheet – less than two seconds off of Mikkelsen – with Citroen duo Mads Ostberg and Craig Breen jumping to fourth and fifth place respectively.

2017 Rally Sweden winner Jari-Matti Latvala sits sixth ahead of the frustrated Tanak who lost five places on SS4 due to conditions with Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon 0.1s off taking another position from the Toyota driver.

Teemu Suninen is currently the best placed contender out of the M-Spord Ford drivers in ninth with Citroen’s Kris Meeke rounding out the top ten ahead of both Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans.

Takamoto Katsuta leads the WRC2 class for Ford by just 1.1s from Ole Christian Veiby in the Skoda.