Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier will take a 35.7s advantage over Kris Meeke into the final day of Wales Rally GB, the 2015 WRC season finale.
Ogier came through the final two night stages this evening with no problems, concluding the leg with his ninth stage win of the event, and significantly giving VW its 500th stage win from 713 stages.
Ogier had begun the second day this morning with a 13.5s cushion and he eked it out to 15.1s in the opening two tests.
He then proceeded to double his lead on the middle loop, before extending it further in SS14 and SS15.
"For us it's been a great day,” Ogier reflected after Aberhirnant 2. “Very tough conditions – so much water, but the stages tonight weren't as bad as I expected. The grip was actually very good.”
Meanwhile, Meeke was pleased to remain second and on course for the runners-up spot.
“It's been another strong day. There's no intention to catch Ogier. We know where he is and what he has under him. Everyone knows what we have to do this weekend [in terms of ensuring Citroen secure second in the Manufacturers']. Job done today and now another tricky day tomorrow [to come],” noted the Ulsterman.
Andreas Mikkelsen completes the provisional podium, now 24.7s off P2, and quickest in SS14, the penultimate test of the event – his second stage win of the day: “It's been a good day,” remarked the VW Motorsport II pilot. “We're battling hard and had some small problems this morning. We survived the day quite well though.”
Behind, M-Sport's Ott Tanak is fourth, 14.7s up on Dani Sordo, who in turn is 18.1s ahead of Hyundai team-mate, Hayden Paddon.
“The afternoon was quite okay,” said Tanak. “Now we are just following Sordo's time to hold position. It is quite horrendous conditions here [SS15] with the rain.”
“We lost time [with the gearbox issue in SS10] but tomorrow is another day,” Sordo added. “Today I was not happy after the problems. However, we're still here ahead of tomorrow.”
Further back, Elfyn Evans trails Paddon by just 4.4s, then there is more than a minute to Mads Ostberg in eighth, the Norwegian losing out with a puncture in SS8 and then an off in SS11.
“It's been a tough day,” Ostberg conceded. “We had a good race going on but after the puncture and the mistake by me basically the race is over. We have to be very, very careful from now on.”
Citroen youngster Stephane Lefebvre and former F1 ace, Robert Kubica round out the top-ten, the latter moving up a place in the final loop, knocking Lorenzo Bertelli down to P11.
In WRC2, Eric Camilli continues to head the principal support class, 35s up on Teemu Suninen. Craig Breen is third third, albeit more than 1.5 minutes further back after losing time with a puncture on Friday in SS4.
As for retirements, Jari-Matti Latvala and Thierry Neuville both rejoined this morning under Rally 2, before again retiring. Latvala had to stop after SS8 due a broken driveshaft, while Neuville, who was quickest in SS7 and SS8, rolled it in SS11.
Ford privateer Martin Prokop also went out on the middle loop, following a collision with Paddon on the road section after SS12.
Wales Rally GB now concludes on Sunday with just four stages on the bill and a total competitive distance of 36.43km. SS16, the 10.64km Brenig 1 test, is due to start tomorrow at 08.26 hours local time. Full event itinerary available - HERE
2015 Wales Rally GB: Overall standings after Stage 15 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2hr 40m 25.2s
2. Kris Meeke
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 35.7s
3. Andreas Mikkelsen
Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +1m 00.4s
4. Ott Tanak
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 41.1s
5. Dani Sordo
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +2m 55.8s
6. Hayden Paddon
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +3m 13.9s
7. Elfyn Evans
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3m 18.3s
8. Mads Ostberg
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +4m 21.9s
9. Stephane Lefebvre
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +5m 32.6s
10. Robert Kubica
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m 31.8s
11. Lorenzo Bertelli
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +7m 24.7s
12. Eric Camilli
Ford Fiesta R5 +10m 08.9s
13. Teemu Suninen
Skoda Fabia S2000 +10m 43.9s
14. Craig Breen
Peugeot 208 T16 +12m 23.4s
15. Josh Moffett
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +14m 53.5s
16. Sam Moffett
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +15m 15.2s
17. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari
Ford Fiesta RRC +16m 12.0s
WRC2 standings after Stage 15 (Top 3):
1. Eric Camilli
Ford Fiesta R5 2h 50m 34.1s
2. Teemu Suninen
Skoda Fabia S2000 +0m 35.0s
3. Craig Breen
Peugeot 208 T16 +2m 14.5s
SS2. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC Went off
SS3. Thierry Neuville
Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC Lost a wheel
SS3. Kevin Abbring
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC Mechanical
SS8/9. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC Broken driveshaft
SS11. Thierry Neuville
Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC Rolled
SS12/SS13. Martin Prokop
Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC Accident on road section
M denotes Manufacturer entry
*denotes re-started under Rally 2 on Saturday
all times unofficial