COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) — Andreas Mikkelsen of Norway won the first special stage and was second in the other Thursday to lead Rally Australia after the opening day.
Mikkelsen had an overall time of 2 minutes, 45.3 seconds after the two 1-mile special stages. Kris Meeke of Northern Ireland, who led qualifying earlier in the day, was second in 2:46.2 and Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland was third in 2:46.7.
Mikkelsen's Volkswagen Motorsport teammate Sebastien Ogier of France, who leads the World Rally Championship standings by 75 points and could clinch the 2013 title with a win this weekend, won the second stage and sits fourth overall in 2:46.8, 1.5 seconds behind Mikkelsen.
The 22-stage, 218-mile Rally Australia, the 10th of 13 stops in the world championship, ends Sunday.