Kris Meeke set the second fastest time in the curtain raiser for the opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship the Monte Carlo Rally in his works Citroen.
Reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier topped the time sheets at the wheel of his works VW Polo on Thursday.
However, ahead of the real action which began yesterday, Meeke was displaying some concern regarding the weather forecast, which was signalling snow. In preparation for the event conditions had been good, no snow and just the odd patch of ice.
“It is a flip of a coin when it comes to weather in this region, you just do not know at what altitude the rain turns to snow, so I will depend on information coming back to me from the safety crew,” he said.
Former F1 driver Robert Kubica set the pace right away with his M Sport Ford Fiesta, but fell foul of the snowy conditions and dropped back to fourth, while Meeke - with the right choice of tyres - moved up to second behind French ace Bryan Bouffier in his Ford Fiesta.
At the conclusion of the opening day, Bryan Bouffier leads from Meeke, with Kubica third ahead of Ogier.
Mads Ostberg was fifth for Citroen, with Wales’ Elfyn Evans a solid sixth on his full WRC debut.