The Wales Rally GB revved into life in spectacular fashion on Thursday evening.

Thousands of spectators packed into Tir Prince Raceway to catch the world's fastest rally drivers for the curtain-raiser to the World Championship event.

Video by Beth Hughes

The stars of the show signing autographs and posed for selfies with fans before the action took place under the floodlights.

"What a fantastic way to kick-start the 2018 edition of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB," said World Championship event's Managing Director, Ben Taylor.

"World Rally Cars are always a sight to behold, but in the dark, with their headlights piercing through the night sky, they are even more spectacular - and the WRC and BRC crews put on a spellbinding show this evening at Visit Conwy Tir Prince.

Finland's Esapekka Lappi was quickest during the opening speed test at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver completed the dusty 1.7km stage in one minute and 21.6 seconds, 0.3secs faster than his team-mate and compatriot Jari-Matti Latvala, who was also at the wheel of the Yaris World Rally Car.

Championship leader Thierry Neuville matched Latvala's time in his Hyundai i20 to tie for second at the Tir Prince trotting track, finishing ahead of title rivals Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tanak.

Ogier, driving a Ford Fiesta, was 0.4secs behind Belgian Neuville, while Estonian Tanak finished a further 0.2sec behind in his Yaris. Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen completed the top six in an i20.

Friday sees the action move to the forests of North Wales, with eight stages covering 110.76km.