Sebastien Ogier admitted he couldn't afford to relax despite extending his advantage on the second day of Wales Rally GB.
Having taken the lead on the opening three stages on Thursday evening, the World Champion topped the times on four of the six stages that made up day two to move just over 20 seconds clear of Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.
With 13 stages to run however over the next two days, Ogier insisted he couldn't afford to back as he seeks to end his season on a high.
Should the Frenchman maintain his advantage, he would secure a victory in GB for the first time, having previously failed to even score in the Welsh forests.
“I'm pleased of course,” he told Crash.net
in the Deeside service park at the end of the second day. “It's always nice to be in the lead, but the gap over Jari-Matti isn't very big and there is still a long way to go.
“I have never had a good result here, but I have a lot more experience now and the Polo is a car that works very well on gravel. With that, and the fact I have more confidence, I know I can get a strong result on an event where things haven't been great in the past.”
The first challenge for Ogier will now come on Saturday's seven stages, which include two runs through the 21.9km Dyfi test and a run through the 21.34km of Dyfant without a mid-day service halt.
“It's going to be a challenge having to do 100km without service,” he said “It will be tough on the tyres and tough on the cars, but we are in the best position going into it.”