Sebastien Ogier has consolidated his lead over Thierry Neuville on the second day of the Tour de Corse with the Frenchman now just two stages shy of a fourth win of the year heading into the final leg.
Having extended his advantage over the Hyundai driver through the morning loop despite not setting any top times, Ogier was quickest through SS7 after benefiting from being first on the road as rain descended on the French island.
With the conditions worsening for those who started later down the running order, Ogier initially increased his advantage over Neuville.
However, the Belgian would make impressive in-roads in the more consistent conditions of SS8, his first fastest stage time of the rally allowing him claw back ground and even reduce the VW driver's lead to 46.5secs with only two stages on Sunday to go.
Though Ogier may now be out of reach for victory - barring any incidents -, Neuville's strong afternoon form has seen him extend his margin over third Andrea Mikkelsen to 22 seconds, while Jari-Matti Latvala's podium challenge faded as he slipped more than half a minute behind his team-mate.
Latvala did however benefit from Craig Breen being slowed in the rain by virtue of his fairly low running order, the Citroen driver's charge towards the Finn hindered as he slipped 23secs behind.
Hayden Paddon remains a lonely sixth place, with Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo gaining a spot on Eric Camilli over the course of the afternoon to move into seventh place.
In WRC2, Elfyn Evans remains on course for a potential crucial win in his title fight, the Welshman moving half a minute clear of Jan Kopecky