Citroen's Kris Meeke leads Rally Corsica after the opening day while Kiwi Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon holds seventh.
The Northern Irishman won the opening two stages in sunny conditions with world champion Sebastien Ogier preventing a hat-trick of before Meeke won the final stage of the day.
"They were two tough stages this afternoon with a lot of road pollution but I enjoyed them," Meeke said. "We're always wary of Seb as he never gives up but I'm comfortable with my pace," said Meeke, who belatedly kick-started his season with victory in Mexico last month.
Ogier wasn't happy with his Ford Fiesta's handling in bumpy sections. Set-up changes improved his performance in the afternoon stages but the Frenchman thinks he can go faster on day two.
"We've improved the car during the day and step-by-step the feeling is getting a bit better," the Ford driver said. "We're not far off and I have some more ideas for tomorrow."
Paddon is one minute 18 seconds down on Meeke after a slow morning but improved performance on the afternoon loop.
"Okay, it's felt not so bad inside the car and with the driving, I feel we're making some good steps forward, but just haven't been producing the times," the New Zealander said.
"We're a little bit confused why that's happening at the moment, so we need to sit down with the engineers overnight and see if we can make some improvements overnight. But a long way to go, tomorrow's a big day.
"Of course we want to be up higher than seventh, so we'll see if we can try and improve on that tomorrow, and see if we can keep making steps forward."
Paddon's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville held a steady third place while the other Hyundai i20 of Dani Sordo dropped to fifth place on the final stage with Citroen's Craig Breen jumping into fourth.
Day 1 results
1. Kris Meeke (Citroen)
2. Sebastien Ogier (Ford) +10.3s
3. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) +25.8s
4. Craig Breen (Citroen) +52.4s
5. Dani Sordo (Hyundai) +53.8s
6. Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) +1:00.2s
7. Hayden Paddon (Hyundai) +1:18.8s
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