KRIS Meeke made an impressive start to the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship Rally Australia.
The Dungannon driver having his second competitive outing in a works Citroen stunned the establishment by setting the fastest time in qualifying.
However after two special stages Andreas Mikkelsen has claimed the lead of a World Rally Championship round for the first time in his career.
The all-asphalt stage run twice is little more than a loosener for the all gravel action on the roads surrounding Coffs.
Meeke backed up his earlier qualifying pace and is second to Mikkelsen who has as is co-driver Irishman Paul Nagle.
Meeke starts the second leg of the event just 0.9 seconds behind Mikkesen’s works VW Polo R WRC.
Meeke has replaced Dani Sordo after impressing at Rally Finland and he recognises that consistency rather than speed could unlock the door to a permanent factory drive.