BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen
fought back on the repeat loop this afternoon in Poland and took his lead back up to 12 seconds.
Hirvonen, who began day two with an 8.9 second cushion, saw his margin slashed to just 3 seconds following the first three stages.
However he put in a real charge this afternoon and in the first test, the 11.88 kilometre Danowo 2 stage, beat his closest rivals, team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala
and Citroen's Dani Sordo by over 6 seconds.
He then further consolidated his advantage in SS12, slightly increasing the gap by 0.7 seconds, before coming out of the final stage of the day, with the margin up to just over 10 seconds.
"I am going flat-out all the time," said Hirvonen. "The stages are very fast. It has been a pretty good day. I thought it would be a little easier, but it has been fantastic anyway."
Jari-Matti Latvala meanwhile ended proceedings comfortably in second and like Mikko managed to put more air between himself and Sordo this afternoon.
"I was driving on the limit today, absolutely flat-out at times," said Latvala. "It was insane. Dani was giving it a real go and making life difficult."
Sordo though was unable to maintain the pressure on the repeat loop. Indeed he slipped further back and now lies 38.5 seconds off P1 and 26.5 seconds off 'silver'. He had cut the deficit to P2 to just over 15 seconds heading into the mid-day halt.
Further down the order, there is a great three-way fight for fourth, and Sebastien Ogier
currently holds the position, although both Petter and Henning Solberg
are not far behind and less than 10 seconds separates the trio.