British Rally Championship leader Osian Pryce led the Nicky Grist Stages after day one of the event on Welsh gravel.
Pryce had a strong morning on the Builth Wells-based event, despite feeling ill and rebounding from a crash on his WRC2 debut in Poland last week.
Fredrik Ahlin, second in the championship behind Pryce, held second overnight. He improved his pace in the second loop of stages after organisers increased the gaps between cars from one minute to two minutes after drivers behind Pryce were suffering in his dust.
Pryce, driving his Ford Fiesta R5, didn’t have it easy. He was sweeping the road on particularly loose stages that have previously been used on Wales Rally GB.
Ahlin, in his Skoda Fabia R5, is 19.3s behind overnight. He believes he can fight for the win over the tricky Epynt Military Ranges tomorrow morning on the championship’s only mixed-surface event.
Matt Edwards is third in his Fiesta R5 after a relatively straightforward day, while fourth-placed Keith Cronin and Jamie Anderson hit trouble in their Fiestas.
Cronin took out a chicane and also got two punctures, while Anderson had electrical issues and had to change a gearbox at the midday service.
After an attrition-filled day for the Prestone Motorsport News Junior British Rally Championship runners, Cameron Davies holds a narrow lead.
Despite declaring his rally career over after Ypres, his beaten-up Peugeot 208 R2 was cobbled together to compete and leads fellow 208 driver Marty Gallagher.
That result is subject to an appeal for time back from Gallagher, who will lead by 0.1s if his stage time is reassessed. He believes drivers around him were given a notional time by mistake.
Stephen Petch strengthened his hold on the BTRDA Rally Series championship with victory. He headed the similar Fiesta WRC of Peter Taylor, and the Fiesta R5+ of Callum Black.
After winning every round this year, Sam Bilham took another victory the Fiesta ST Trophy Championship.