Oulton Park, 3.58km
The 2003 world champion and four-time GB winner, competing in his last rally before retirement, topped the leaderboard for much of the evening in his support category Volkswagen Polo R5 before being overhauled by Meeke and Neuville.
The 44-year-old Norwegian finished 3.3sec off the lead in third, 0.5sec clear of reigning world champion Sébastien Ogier’s Citroën C3. Andreas Mikkelsen, driving an i20, and Esapekka Lappi, in another C3, completed the top six.
It was a nightmare start for championship leader Ott Tänak who was down in 12th after yielding almost 9sec to team-mate Meeke.
“The engine stopped. I had no lights, they were pointing to the top of the trees and I completely missed the corner,” explained the Estonian.