Sebastien Ogier has extended his lead in the Tour de Corse to almost a minute with only four stages of the rally remaining as British hope Kris Meeke saw his fight-back bid end with a crash.
Despite failing to top the timesheets in either SS5 or SS6, Ogier eked his advantage out to 53.6secs over Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, who in turn heads into this afternoon's loop coming under threat from VW duo Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala.
Second best through SS5 and quickest through SS6, Mikkelsen – Ogier's closest rival for the World Rally Championship title - is now up to third position, less than six seconds behind Neuville, while Latvala is also in the mix 20secs behind the Belgian.
Having become the first driver to out-pace Ogier by setting the fastest time on SS5, Meeke's rally came to an abrupt halt on SS6 when the Citroen driver struck a tree. The Briton was Ogier's closest rival on day one but having lost time with a puncture that dropped him outside the top ten, he was back up to eighth prior to his exit.
However, there was better news for his Citroen team-mate Craig Breen, who gave his hopes of landing a full-time drive in 2017 a boost rising to fifth place, ahead of Hayden Paddon and Eric Camilli, the Frenchman enjoying a strong run on his home event in the best of the Fords.
Following a puncture, Dani Sordo has slipped out of the top three fight to eighth place, while Elfyn Evans continues to lead WRC2 in ninth overall, albeit only 16secs clear of Jan Kopecky in the Skoda.