Sebastien Ogier ended Friday on the top of the timesheets in Rally Catalunya, maintaining the lead he claimed in Thursday evening's Super Special.
The Frenchman was not in the lead for most of the day's action, but passed teammate Jari-Matti Latvala for the lead by topping the day’s final stage Terra Alta, the longest test of the rally.
Ogier, already crowned 2015 WRC champion, gave up his lead to Robert Kubica in the morning, who kicked off the day with a stage win and a further two top-three finishes before suffering two punctures and losing five minutes during the first run on Terra Alta.
That allowed Ogier to retake the lead just ahead of Latvala and Ott Tanak, who was the only one able to stay close to the VW duo.
The trio continued a close fight in the afternoon, with Latvala edging ahead of Ogier and Tanak adding two stage wins to his previous one from the morning.
However, Ogier managed to beat his rivals in the final stage by a confident margin to end the day with an overall lead of four and 11 seconds on Latvala and Tanak respectively.
Local driver Dani Sordo completed a consistent day to hold fourth, closely followed by Mads Ostberg, whose otherwise great run was overshadowed by a puncture and a mechanical issue during the Terra Alta runs.
Andreas Mikkelsen stole sixth from Hayden Paddon at the end of the day, while the top 10 was completed by Kris Meeke, Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans.
Day 1 overall classification (top 10)
|Pos.||Driver / Co-Driver||Car||Time/Delay|