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
2. Dani Sordo
MINI WRT John Cooper Works +00mins 07.0secs
3. Petter Solberg
PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +00mins 49.6secs
4. Jari-Matti Latvala
Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 34.9secs
5. Mikko Hirvonen
Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 47.4secs
6. Dennis Kuipers
FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC +05mins 54.6secs
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
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
12. Matthew Wilson
M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 22.5secs
13. Ott Tanak
Ford Fiesta S2000 +09mins 47.3secs
14. Khalid Al-Qassimi
Team Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC +11mins 06.3secs
SWRC standings after Stage 16:
1. Ott Tanak
Ford Fiesta S2000 2hours 49mins 49.7secs
2. Eyvind Brynildsen
Skoda Fabia S2000 +02mins 38.7secs
3. Martin Prokop
Ford Fiesta S2000 +02mins 47.4secs
SS1. Frigyes Turan
Ford Fiesta S2000 Mechanical
SS3. Sebastien Loeb
Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC Engine
SS2/3. Kimi Raikkonen
ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC Went off on road section
SS6. Peter van Merksteijn
Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC Rolled
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