Thierry Neuville heads up the opening stage of Rally Mexico for Hyundai from Toyota’s Ott Tanak with defending World Rally Champion Sebastian Ogier in a close third.

On the short 2.53km opener Monster Street Stage GTO, WRC points leader Neuville clinched victory by 1.9s seconds from Tanak with Ogier just one-tenth behind his former M-Sport teammate in third place on the early classification.

Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi saw all three factory Toyota’s in the top five with Andreas Mikkelsen in sixth place for Hyundai.

Rally Mexico shakedown topper Kris Meeke leads the Citroen charge having won the event 12 months ago with Hyundai’s Dani Sordo in eighth and M-Sport Ford’s Elfyn Evans in ninth.

WRC legend Sebastien Loeb is making his championship comeback with Citroen and started a conservative 10th place on his debut in the new generation of premier class rally cars. Pontus Tidemand leads the WRC2 classification for Skoda ahead of teammate Kalle Rovanpera.