Sebastien Ogier has moved back ahead of Dani Sordo this afternoon in France and following SS16, the Citroen man now leads his home event by 7 seconds.

After the battle had been so close this morning, Ogier went on a charge this afternoon, setting the joint quickest time in SS13 with Petter Solberg and immediately moving up into P1. Ogier was then quickest again in SS14 and SS15 to stretch his lead over Sordo to 7.9 seconds.

Although the Frenchman was then only fourth in SS16, losing time near the end of the 24.02km Grand Ballon 2 test, he still finished the loop with a very reasonable cushion.

Sordo for his part was again competitive for MINI, but two fourth quickest times and two seconds were not enough to prevent Ogier from moving ahead.

Petter Solberg meanwhile remains a lonely third, 49.6 seconds adrift of the top two after his puncture in SS11.

Ford Abu Dhabi WRT men Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen are next up in fourth and fifth, the former showing good speed and winning another test in SS16, when he was 2 seconds quicker than everyone else.

Kris Meeke had split the two Fiestas post-SS12, but he crashed out in his MINI WRT John Cooper Works WRC car in SS13. Meeke's exit means Ford will now be free to play team orders on Sunday and ensure Hirvonen takes the maximum points to aid his championship challenge.

Further back, Dennis Kuipers, Armindo Araujo and M-Sport Stobart Ford duo, Henning Solberg and Mads Ostberg lie in positions 6 through to 9, with Pierre Campana now on course for the final WRC point in tenth.

Ken Block and Matthew Wilson complete the top twelfth, with SWRC class leader, Ott Tanak 13th - more than 2.5 minutes up on his closest class rival, Eyvind Brynildsen. Martin Prokop is third in the SWRC.

Day two now concludes with a run through the new 3.09km street test in Mulhouse, which is due to start at 16.56 hours local time [15.56 hours UK time].

Rallye de France Alsace: Overall standings after Stage 16 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2hours 40mins 02.4secs M
2. Dani Sordo MINI WRT John Cooper Works +00mins 07.0secs
3. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +00mins 49.6secs M
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 34.9secs M
5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 47.4secs M
6. Dennis Kuipers FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC +05mins 54.6secs M
7. Armindo Araujo Motorsport Italia MINI John Cooper Works +06mins 04.2secs
8. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +06mins 19.1secs
9. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +07mins 11.6secs M
10. Pierre Campana Equipe de France FFSA MINI John Cooper Works +07mins 36.2secs


11. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +07mins 44.3secs M
12. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 22.5secs M
13. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 +09mins 47.3secs S
14. Khalid Al-Qassimi Team Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC +11mins 06.3secs M

SWRC standings after Stage 16:

1. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 2hours 49mins 49.7secs S
2. Eyvind Brynildsen Skoda Fabia S2000 +02mins 38.7secs S
3. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta S2000 +02mins 47.4secs S

Notable retirements:

SS1. Frigyes Turan Ford Fiesta S2000 Mechanical S
SS3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC Engine M
SS2/3. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC Went off on road section M
SS6. Peter van Merksteijn Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC Rolled M

SS11. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off
SS13. Kris Meeke MINI WRT John Cooper Works Went off

all times unofficial