''The wastegate problem meant I had to rev the engine very hard to get any boost at all, which was frustrating,” explained McRae. “It's heat-related so switching off the anti-lag system helped but it cost us a lot of time.''
Engine problems hampered the overnight leader in the FIA Super 1600 Cup section, Frenchman Sebastian Loeb. He changed a faulty crank sensor after today's first stage but the time lost already dropped him behind local driver Sergio Vallejo. Giandomenico Basso should have been ideally placed to capitalise but the Fiat driver lost a tyre on a rock.
François Duval (B) drove superbly as his Ford Puma climbed back from 15th to seventh in just three stages this morning following a puncture yesterday. He was twice third fastest before the youngster hit an oil patch and went off the road and retired on stage 10.
Patrick Magaud (F) powered his Puma up to third before retiring with engine failure on the same stage. Martin Stenshorne (N) kept the Ford flag flying in fifth on a day of high attrition in the category which has seen the 23 starters reduced to only nine.
The final leg returns to the Girona region, north of Barcelona. After leaving Lloret de Mar at 06.45, drivers face a final two loops of three stages, covering 118.40km, before returning to the Costa Brava seaside resort for the finish at 16.56. The weather is forecast to be much cooler with temperatures down to 8°C, but still dry.