Alexey Lukyanuk leads the auto24 Rally Estonia, after setting the fastest time on the opening Tartu City Stage

The ERC2 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X driver set a 1m06.9s on the short 1.33 kilometre test, 0.3s quicker than Kajetan Kajetanowicz (LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5).

Thousands of spectators turned up to watch the ceremonial start and opening stage, with a real party atmosphere in the university town of Tartu.

Some sections of the City Stage ran on extremely slippery cobbles, which ERC leader Craig Breen described as like driving on ice in places – after he survived a heart-stopping moment when his Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16 slid straight on a early junction.

Roland Murakas damaged his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X’s rear suspension, after hitting a kerb.

Rally Estonia is better known for its ultra-fast gravel stages – the first of which starts tomorrow at 10h47 local time.