Estonia Ott Tanak set the fastest time on the opening special stage of Rally Finland this morning while Kiwi Hayden Paddon took a safe approach in finishing 10th.

Tanak was .7s quicker than anyone else in his Toyota Yaris on the short, mixed-surface inner city test that saw the top 11 cars separated by just 2.8s.

Championship leader and Paddon's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville was second fastest while reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier was third.

The opening super special stage is generally used to get the cars up and close to fans and there is little to be gained on such a short opening stage.


Paddon took a cautious approach and will wait until the rally proper starts overnight tonight as he hopes to take advantage of a good road position and the fast and flowing gravel stages.

The 31-year-old enjoyed a solid performance in the pre-event shakedown, posting the second fastest time on the opening run before eventually setting the fifth fastest time overall.