Wiegand was faster than his fellow countryman on the first three stages, but veteran Kremer battled back on the final stage to slash the deficit by almost 25sec in his Subaru Impreza.
“We had no major problems,” explained Wiegand. “I tried to drive safely and it worked. But this is a long and tough rally so we’ll wait and see how things are after the second leg tomorrow.”
Early leader was Esapekka Lappi, who was fastest through the first stage despite hitting a rock and breaking the front suspension wishbone on his Skoda Fabia S2000. He started the second test but the damage was too bad for him to continue, the young Finn stopping after 20km.
Ukraine’s Yuriy Protosov lies third in another Impreza, more than 2min 30sec behind Kremer.