Kris Meeke was right on the pace on day two of Rally Portugal, round five of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Fresh from his victory last time out in Argentina the Dungannon driver set some impressive times, never outside the top four which at the end of the day saw him in second place overall, eleven seconds adrift of rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala in his works Volkswagen Polo.
Everyone found the stages very tough and bumpy and Meeke admitted that at times he had difficulty in seeing and keeping his works Citroen on the road.
Meeke is in a Volkswagen sandwich as Andrea Mikkelsen is just five seconds behind in his wheel tracks, so the Ulsterman has a battle on his hands on Saturdayday.
Meeke did admit that yesterday afternoon he made a wrong tyre choice and for everyone on day three, choosing the right tyres will be critical.
The reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier was finding the going particularly difficult and it was not until stage six that he showed his form setting the fastest time, this effort lifted him into sixth place overall.
While the drivers were facing a formidable challenge so to were the event organisers as forest fires raged close to the stages, forcing the cancellation of two.
The action continues today with six more stages and the rally finishes tomorrow with just three stages including a Power Stage.