BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Jari-Matti Latvala has kept the lead on the Jordan Rally after it was confirmed that a proposed time penalty has been scrubbed.

Latvala was given the 10 second penalty after he arrived late for SS3, the 20.44 kilometre-run through Mahes 1. Petter Solberg was also set to be penalised for the same reason, but both complained that the road section was too tight and that there was no enough time to get from SS2 to SS3.

As a result, neither penalty was ever actually added to the times, and at the lunchtime service, organisers confirmed they would not be imposed.

Latvala will thus go into the second loop this afternoon with a slender 0.4 second lead over Dani Sordo. Petter is third, 1.1 seconds further back, followed by Sebastien Ogier, Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen.

"The first two stages were slippery [this morning], but the third was less so," said Latvala in service A. "That helped me, but it helped the drivers behind us even more because the gravel was swept from the road and they had a cleaner line to follow, with more grip.

"My pace notes worked really well, the car feels great and I am not planning any changes in service. I would be happy if the afternoon loop went as well as the morning."