Przygonski starts it
Poland's Jakub Przygonski opened the day's proceedings on the short loop with new navigator Timo Gottschalk in the first of two MINI John Cooper Works Rally derivatives on a timed test that started 66.34km from the Lusail Sports Arena at the village of Al Kharsaah.
The Pole continued to run first on the road, although Al Attiyah overtook Russia's Vladimir Vasilyev (fifth overall) and began to close in on the MINI as the stage progressed, before overtaking the Pole near the end of the special that also finished close to Al Kharsaah.
Mohammed Al Attiyah and Uruguayan navigator Sergio Lafuente topped the times in the T3 category in their Can-Am Maverick X3.
The Qatari finished just under a minute in front of the Brazilian Monster Energy Can-Am duo of Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin.
Qatar's Adel Abdulla drove his T3 Can-Am Maverick 3 for the first time with new Spanish navigator Marc Serra and held third in T3.
He said: "It was complicated today. My start position was not perfect. When the drivers in T1s behind catch you, you are always looking in the mirror and not pushing. Then they pass and you need to slow down. So two cars pass and you lose, maybe two minutes, and you are in the dust. The communication between us was okay. You are outside completely in the T3 and the nose of the car is very short."
On the second day, crews tackle a punishing 323.58km selective section across some of the most remote areas of the country.
The stage gets underway at 08.45hrs after a road liaison of 69.14km from Lusail Sports Arena. A second road section of 77.15km returns teams to the service park in the early afternoon.