Sebastien Ogier has moved into a dominant position for a second consecutive Rally Sweden victory after pulling out a handful of seconds on Hyundai Motorsport's Hayden Paddon with only a short sprint to the finish remaining.
The three-time WRC champion came under pressure from Paddon during Saturday morning as he slashed the deficit to 8.8 seconds but Ogier has regained control over the afternoon stages and now leads by 15.9 seconds.
Due to the warm temperatures causing nine stages in total to be scrapped because of the lack of ice at the only winter event on the WRC calendar just two stages and around 17km remain. As a result, barring a mistake from Ogier another victory looks increasingly likely for the French driver who will maintain his perfect start to 2016 after winning the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo.
Paddon will be keen to jump on any opportunity conceded by Ogier and at the very least will equal his career-best result in WRC when he finished runner-up for Hyundai at last season's Rally d'Italia.
Mads Ostberg looks set to complete the rostrum in Sweden for M-Sport after VW's Andreas Mikkelsen slipped off the road during SS14 to concede around half a minute to his fellow countryman. Mikkelsen trimmed the gap to the top three by 24.5 seconds after finishing third fastest on SS16.
DMACK Ford's Ott Tanak continues to quietly go about his business in a lonely fifth while Dani Sordo's strong SS16 gave him breathing space on WRC legend Henning Solberg for sixth place. Craig Breen's Citroen WRC debut looks set to end in smiles as he fortified his eighth place in Sweden.
In WRC2, Elfyn Evans holds on to top spot in WRC 2 as Pontus Tidemand cut the Welsh driver's advantage to 10 seconds.
Saturday's action is concluded this evening with the 1.6km Super Special stage. Due to the revised schedule only the Power stage will run on Sunday.