Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala heads the classification on Rally de Espana following SS8, 1.2 seconds up on Dani Sordo.
With the action switching from asphalt to gravel on Sunday, Colldejou 2 was always going to see some tactics come into play, as the order at the end of it would determine the starting positions for the final leg, and so it was no surprise to see Sordo ease off slightly to ensure he wouldn't have to run first on the road.
“I lost a little bit at the end so I will be in a better position,” the Spaniard confirmed to the official WRC site. “All I can do [now] is try my best tomorrow.
“The tactics really started yesterday and they have gone okay, I'm happy. Can I win? I hope so. I will do my best,” added the Citroen pilot.
Latvala meanwhile was less happy and felt he should probably have pushed to ensure he took the Power Stage win and the maximum three bonus points. Instead he wound up third in the Power Stage, behind his team-mate, Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville, who he is battling with for second in the 2013 WRC Drivers' Championship.
“I should have been quicker [in SS8]. I need the Power Stage points,” Latvala remarked.
So can he win given he will have to sweep the road on Sunday? “We'll see,” pondered the Finn, “but I think I'll need some help with the weather.”
Behind, Neuville is third overall – and will run third in the order tomorrow – 28 seconds adrift of P2, with Ogier now having climbed up from sixth to fourth, after his puncture in SS6, which cost the VW #1 over 50 seconds.
Evgeny Novikov rounds out the top five, with Mikko Hirvonen only 1.3 seconds back in P6, followed by Mads Ostberg, Hayden Paddon, Martin Prokop and Robert Kubica in positions 7 through to 10. Kubica remains in a class of his own in WRC2 and thus far has won every single test.
In terms of retirements, Nasser Al-Attiyah went off the road in SS8 and joined Andreas Mikkelsen on the sidelines. It is not yet known if the Qatar WRT man will be able to re-start on Sunday.
Day two now concludes with a run through the short 2.24 km Salou super special. SS9 is scheduled to start at 17.37 hours local time [16.37 hours UK time].
Rally de Espana: Overall standings after Stage 8 (Top 10):
1. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2hour 03m 32.6s
2. Dani Sordo
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 01.2s
3. Thierry Neuville
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 29.2s
4. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 45.8s
5. Evgeny Novikov
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 55.5s
6. Mikko Hirvonen
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 56.8s
7. Mads Ostberg
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 27.5s
8. Hayden Paddon
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 58.2s
9. Martin Prokop
Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +03m 05.9s
10. Robert Kubica
Citroen DS3 RRC +03m 56.8s
11. Elfyn Evans
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta R5 +06m 00.0s
12. Sepp Wiegand
Skoda Fabia S2000 +08m 01.6s
13. Khalid Al Qassimi
Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +08m 06.7s
14. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari
Seashore Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +08m 14.2s
15. Yazeed Al-Rajhi
Ford Fiesta RRC +08m 52.1s
16. Enrique Garcia Ojeda
Citroen DS3 R3T +12m 20.9s
Rally de Espana: Power Stage / SS8 (Top 3):
1. Thierry Neuville
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 15m 36.8s
2. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 02.8s
3. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 03.2s
NOTE: Top three finishers in Power Stage are awarded bonus points. 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point
WRC2 standings after Stage 8 (Top 3):
1. Robert Kubica
Citroen DS3 RRC 2hours 07m 29.4s
2. Elfyn Evans
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta R5 +02m 03.2s
3. Sepp Wiegand
Skoda Fabia S2000 +04m 04.8s
WRC3 standings after Stage 8 (Top 3):
1. Enrique Garcia Ojeda
Citroen DS3 R3T 2hrs 15m 53.5s
2. Mohamed Al-Mutawaa
Citroen DS3 R3T +05m 48.4s
3. Mohamed Al-Sahlawi
Citroen DS3 R3T +17m 01.7s
JWRC standings after Stage 8 (Top 3)
1. Yeray Lemes
Ford Fiesta R2 2hrs 20m 16.5s
2. Marius Aasen
Ford Fiesta R2 +02m 29.3s
3. Sander Parn
Ford Fiesta R2 +03m 16.9s
SS4. Andreas Mikkelsen
Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC Suspension damage – hit a rock
SS8. Nasser Al-Attiyah
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Crashed
*denotes expected to re-start under the Rally 2 regulations;
M denotes Manufacturer entry;
all times unofficial