Petter Solberg declared himself happy after experiencing a trouble free day in his Citroen C4 WRC.
The Norwegian driver finished the first day in third place overall behind the two championship contenders.
Solberg said at the end of day one: “It's been a good day here in Wales, and I'm really happy with third overall. I'm picking up on the pace now, and the two guys ahead of me are actually fighting for the championship. Another long day tomorrow, and we will keep on pushing.”
“We have done some changes with the balance and the set-up, but I feel it's getting better and better,” he added.
Solberg trails rally leader Sebastien Loeb by 40 seconds, while Hivonen is 5 seconds behind the defending champion.
Rally GB continues with 6 more stages tomorrow.