Andreas Mikkelsen has won the tussle for the early lead against Craig Breen on the opening loop at Rally Turkey.
After Breen clinched victory on the first stage of Friday’s running it saw the Citroen driver claim the overall lead from Mikkelsen who struggled for pace initially. But all vHyundai drivers began finding their rhythm with World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville taking victory on SS3 before Mikkelsen returned to the front after winning SS4.
The spread of stage wins saw Mikkelsen return to the lead with a 6.3-second advantage over Breen, while his Citroen teammate Mads Ostberg impressed to jump up to third place ahead of Hyundai’s Neuville.
Hayden Paddon, returning to the third Hyundai car after Dani Sordo took over in Portugal, moved up to fifth place with a strong final morning stage to push Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala down to sixth place.
Defending WRC champion Sebastien Ogier recovered from a poor start to Rally Turkey by moving up to seventh place for M-Sport Ford, less than half a second behind Latvala, to split the Toyota drivers with Esapekka Lappi and Ott Tanak in eighth and ninth respectively.
Teemu Suninen rounds out the top 10 for M-Sport Ford with team-mate Elfyn Evans struggling down in 14th after suffering rear differential issues during SS3 which saw him drop down the order.
Henning Solberg leads the WRC2 standings for Skoda in 11th place overall just 2.9s in front of teammate Jan Kopecky, with Pontus Tidemand rounding out the all-Skoda top three.