Rob Fagg leading local driver
Former event winner Keith Cronin leads the 138.com Rally Isle of Man after the opening day's five stages.
Cronin and co-driver Mikie Galvin was fastest on four of them in his Msport Ford Fiesta R5.
The Cork crew has a lead of just 7.5 seconds over the Swift Rally Team Ford of Wales’ Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod, who set excellent times to pull 16 seconds clear of Prestone MSA British Rally Championship title leaders Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen in their CA1 Sport Skoda Fabia R5.
Leading local competitor is Kirk Michael’s Rob Fagg, co-driving for Hugh Hunter in a Ford. They hold sixth place, 1m 36s off the lead after a wrong tyre choice cost them dearly in what were changeable conditions.
Today (Fri) is the longest day of the British rallying year, 11 stages to be tackled over 14 hours, headlined by the traditional double run through the streets of Castletown in the evening.