Ahlin had been hoping to kick-start his title campaign following a run of frustrating results in the young driver-training series for identical Ford Fiesta R2s using Pirelli control tyres.
He was third overall after three stages, 7.5s down on leader Elfyn Evans when he went off the road. Although he and co-driver Morten Erik Abrahamsen were uninjured, damage to the car’s roll cage meant they were unable to restart.
After three stages, Evans holds a narrow advantage, 2.8.s up on title leader Alastair Fisher with Brendan Reeves third after a spin on stage three and Timo van der Marel fourth. John MacCrone is fifth with Pontus Tidemand, who went fastest on stage two, in sixth place.
“We struggled to get a rhythm early on in the first stage but we improved from there and I’m very happy to be on top after a long first day,” said Evans, who was fastest on stage one. “The car was fantastic with no problems at all. It was a great start, I just need to maintain it tomorrow.”
Fisher, who was quickest on stage three, added: “Maybe I didn’t attack the first stage to its full potential as we were conscious that it was the stage we had an accident on last year. But we got into a really good rhythm right from the start on the last stage and we were happy with the result. The car was perfect and well balanced.”