Craig Breen was in fourth place as former F1 driver Robert Kubica led the Azores Rally at the end of shortened first day.
Bad weather on the mid-Atlantic island forced the cancellation of the first stage but the disruption did little to slow Kubica who set fastest times on each of the three remaining stages in his Citroen DS3 to lead by 10 seconds from Skoda's Jan Kopecky.
Breen, the 23-year-old World Super 2000 champion, from Waterford, had been second in his Peugeot but was slowed by a puncture and slipped to fourth behind the Skoda of Ricardo Moura and was 12 seconds behind leader Kubica going into day two.
Bernard Souza was fifth in his Ford Fiesta and Breen's Peugeot Academy team-mate Jeremi Ancian sixth.
Meanwhile Derek McGeehan in his WRC Mini heads the line-up for tomorrow's Lark in the Park, a special stage rally in St Columb's Park which is part of Derry's City of Culture celebrations.
McGeehan and some 40 other drivers will tackle five stages starting at 9am.
The line-up for the Mulholland Motors-sponsored event also includes Kieron Graffin in a rare WRC Hyundai Accent, Sean Cassidy (Ford Fiesta), Richard Hogg (Mitsubishi) and Adrian Hetherington (Ford Escort).
Meanwhile, Wales Rally GB organisers have announced the base for this season's event will be moved from Cardiff to Deeside in north Wales.
The main hub come November will be at the Toyota Engine Plant in Deeside, Flintshire. The rally will start in Conwy on November 14 and finish in Llandudno on November 17.