Gary Jennings leads the way by just five seconds in the Donegal International Rally after the opening three stages.
The Fermanagh driver, who has Neil Doherty on the notes in his Subaru WRC, was quickest in the first two stages over Gortree and Cliffords, while he was just half a second slower than second-placed Darragh O’Riordan from Cork who set the pace in stage three over Mouldy Hill.
Running third on the road is top seed, Darren Gass, from Armagh, who is 17 seconds behind the leader.
After service in Buncrana, crews will complete the same three stages on Friday afternoon before undertaking two stages in Buncrana around 5.30 pm.
140 crews rolled off the starting ramp this morning for what is the 41st staging of the hugely popular motorsport event.
Jennings, who started out from An Grianan Theatre on Friday morning as third seed, has won the Group N category in Donegal on two occasions. He also won the Donegal Harvest Stages Rally last year.
Leading local driver is Donagh Kelly who is 8th, some 45 seconds behind Jennings.
In the national championship, Daniel McKenna tops the table and has a 33 second lead over the Glenties crew of Declan and Brian Boyle, with Wesely Patterson 19 seconds further back in third.