Britain's Elfyn Evans took the lead in the Argentina Rally in his Ford Fiesta on Friday with a 56-second lead after a series of specials on rocky, pebbly terrain.
"A really positive day. We can be happy for the whole team," the 28-year-old Welshman said afterwards.
"A very long way to go and even Sunday is tough. We have to just carry on in the morning like today didn't happen."
Norwegian Mads Ostberg, also in a Ford Fiesta, was in second place at 55.7 seconds behind Evans.
Evans's M-Sport teammate, French world rally champion Sebastien Ogier, was fourth behind Belgian Thierry Neuville-Nicolas in a Hyundai i20.
Another Briton, the event's 2015 winner Kris Meeke in a Citroen, skidded off the course in the fourth special of the day.
Saturday is the third and penultimate day of the rally in northern Argentina.