Craig Breen produced a consistent run for Citroën Racing at the 2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France as he finished fifth after Day 1.
Breen, who was eighth at one point in the overall leaderboard in the morning, he set two sixth-placed times in the afternoon stages to finish in fifth place.
The Irishman is now 20 seconds ahead of the third-placed Volkswagen of Jari-Matti Latvala after the opening day in Corsica.
Breen said “I was pleasantly surprised today. I didn’t know what to expect at the start of the first stage, because I still have so many things to learn on tarmac in a WRC car.
“My rhythm was good, but I had a few problems managing the tyres over these long stages. For the second loop, we decided to take two spare tyres – even if it meant losing a bit of time – and I also adjusted my driving style.
“Overall, I’m very pleased to finish in the top five on my first day on tarmac. We’ll need to put into practice some of the things we’ve learned today, especially as tomorrow’s stages look more difficult to me.”