Sebastien Ogier leads Wales Rally GB by 1 minute 10.1 seconds going into Saturday's mid-day service.
Ogier is now well-placed after Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala went off in SS9
, the first test this morning, and lost over 3 minutes, dropping him back to tenth. Ogier had been just 6.6 seconds in front last night.
“The battle was really enjoyable with Jari, but it is so easy to make a mistake in these muddy and slippery conditions. We still have to finish the job,” Ogier noted.
Meanwhile, Mads Ostberg made the most of the short 2.06 km Chirk Castle super special to leapfrog Mikko Hirvonen for second.
Hirvonen now drops to third, 0.7 seconds back, and only 0.7 seconds up on Kris Meeke in fourth, setting things up for an exciting three-way scrap for 'silver'.
“We have done quite a good morning, especially after the first two stages. We have to continue like this in the afternoon,” Ostberg said after SS13.
“It is really, really close,” Hirvonen added. “It is so easy to make mistakes, but I think this afternoon can be a great fight. This is my last time here, so I am going to do everything I can to be on that podium.”
Behind, Hyundai's Thierry Neuville completes the top five, 22 seconds off P4, followed by Elfyn Evans, Ott Tanak, Henning Solberg, Martin Prokop and Latvala in positions 6 through to 10.
“It has been very disappointing,” said Latvala. “I really attacked but we have two problems with the car now....”
Day two now continues this afternoon with repeat runs through this morning's four 'proper' tests. SS14, the 8.25 km Clocaenog East 2 test, is due to start at 15.00 hours local time.
Wales Rally GB: Overall standings after Stage 13 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2hrs 00m 22.6s
2. Mads Ostberg
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +01m 10.1s
3. Mikko Hirvonen
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 10.8s
4. Kris Meeke
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +01m 11.5s
5. Thierry Neuville
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +01m 33.5s
6. Elfyn Evans
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 48.7s
7. Ott Tanak
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 29.7s
8. Henning Solberg
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 42.1s
9. Martin Prokop
Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +03m 14.2s
10. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +03m 33.4s
11. Hayden Paddon
Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +03m 56.9s
12. Robert Kubica
RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +04m 01.1s
13. Jari Ketomaa
Ford Fiesta R5 +07m 37.8s
WRC2 standings after Stage 13 (Top 3):
1. Jari Ketomaa
Ford Fiesta R5 2hrs 08m 00.4s
2. Bernardo Sousa
Ford Fiesta RRC +00m 56.5s
3. Lorenzo Bertelli
Ford Fiesta R5 +01m 22.5s
SS2. Andreas Mikkelsen
Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC Hit a bank
SS3. Juho Hanninen
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC Went off
M denotes Manufacturer entry
* denotes re-started under Rally 2 on Saturday
all times unofficial