Jari-Matti Latvala put in a faultless performance on day two of the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse to move up into fourth and build a good cushion over his nearest challenger.
Latvala, who started the second leg in fifth, sandwiched between the Subaru's of Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson, moved in front of 'Hollywood' in the final stage this morning.
The 23-year-old then put in a bit of a charge in the afternoon, including posting the second best time in SS11, the repeat-run through the 25.17 kilometre-Calcatoggio-Plage du Liamone test.
Indeed despite running with two spare Pirelli PZero tyres he managed to beat Petter in all three tests and thus goes into the overnight service with a 22.4 second lead.
"Everything seemed to go perfect today but we never really did anything differently it all just seemed to click into place," said the Finn, who is running under the Stobart banner again this weekend.
"We even carried two spares for safety on the afternoon loop when most other people had one so the extra weight made no difference to our speed at all. After service I couldn't believe how my times were so good.
"I have just been trying to drive more precisely like I learnt in Spain last week and it is working well; now we are in a much stronger fourth position. The stages tomorrow are generally wider but there is a narrow section in the middle of one where we need to be careful as there are some very sharp edges."
Matt Wilson meanwhile also enjoyed a positive day in the other Stobart Ford Focus nominated to score manufacturers' points. He managed to advance fifth places from his overnight position and now heads into tomorrow's final day just 7.3 seconds off a drivers' point.
"Today has been mega. This time yesterday I was coming into final service a bit unhappy but today I'm coming in with a big smile on my face as we have moved up from 14th to ninth in one day," added the Brit.
"I just put yesterday's problems behind me and concentrated on driving and it all just seemed to come together. I have been happy with my split times today apart from my first one on every stage and we just have to try and get on the pace from the very start now. The stages tomorrow are a different challenge as they are a bit wider and less technical than today."