World champion Sebastien Ogier of France ended the first day in the Rally of Nexico in an familiar position - with a 26-second lead over Norway's Mads Ostberg.
Ogier, in a Volkswagen Polo, won seven of the day's 11 stages, including the first four of the afternoon session, to overhaul Ostberg's Citroen, which had taken an early lead after the opening five stages.
Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala, Ogier's Volkswagen team-mate, was 42.5sec off the pace in third.
In searing heat in and around Leon, Ogier kept a cool head, and he said: "It's very hot inside the car, but I'm quite happy with my times."
Ostberg commented: "It's my first rally on this surface in the Citroen DS3 but I had a good feeling on the first stage and I understood what I had to do to make the most of it."
But he admitted he had let Ogier back in. "I took several bends badly," he said.
Twelve months ago, the Norwegian had put Ogier under huge pressure in Mexico when he was with Ford before electrical problems forced him to retire.
The Rally, the third of the world championship season, continues on Saturday.