The 45.51km of competition were little more than a warm-up for the two long days to come, but Fisher enjoyed a near-perfect day. He led the standings by 9.2sec from Ireland’s Keith Cronin after winning four stages out of six.
“It’s a great battle with Keith. We can’t afford to ease off, we have to keep up the pressure,” said Fisher.
Cronin had every reason to be pleased with his performance. He is still within striking distance of his main rival and 29.0sec clear of Jussi Vainionpaa.
Vainionpaa is a new addition to the WRC 3 category and proved to be the surprise package on home ground after a cautious start.
French drivers Quentin Gilbert and WRC 3 championship leader Sebastien Chardonnet held fourth and fifth, while Simone Campedelli rounded off the top six. Less than 10 seconds split the trio.
All drivers are competing in Citroen DS3 R3T cars.