The first day's rally was a spectacular battle that took place on classic Formula 1 ground.
Or on, and on.
More specifically, the rally took place on, outside and around Monza's classic Formula 1 asphalt.
The first of 16 sections offered 4.3 kilometers of varied surfaces.
One who managed without problems was Sebastien Ogier who chases teammate Elfyn Evans in search of the overall victory.
Ogier finished in 3: 31.5.
Half a second slower, Thierry Neuville crossed the finish line.
Evans is in fourth place, 2.7 seconds behind.
- The first stretch was just a taste of the difficulties that await.
Very varying grip level and thus easy to make mistakes, says SVT's expert Jonas Kruse after the first day's stretch.
Tidemand with top in WRC2
Pontus Tidemand leads the WRC2 class before the end of the World Cup and is chasing the second title of his career in the class.
Tidemand started with the fourth best time in WRC2.
Oliver Solberg had the third best time of the R5 cars and is thus also in third place in the WRC3 class before Friday.
In the junior WC, the title challenger Tom Kristensson was the second fastest on the initial distance.
Tomorrow awaits a stage with five distances and almost seven miles of driving.
- I think that the time margin will be significantly larger tomorrow, of course with longer distances but also with the difficulties.
Easy to make mistakes on the very difficult to drive and technical distances, Kruse concludes.