Further down the order, Sebastien Ogier is sixth, despite a bad start, when he went off the road and lost around two minutes. He slipped down a few places as a result, but managed to pass Matthew Wilson this afternoon in SS13.
Wilson ended day two in seventh, 37.9 seconds off Ogier, while Khalid Al Qassimi is eighth and on course to score his first point in the WRC, in the 'third' BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Focus RS WRC 08.
Of the rest, Eamonn Boland leads the way for the Irish runners in ninth, followed by Aaron MacHale, SupeRally re-starter, Urmo Aava and then Gareth MacHale, Tim McNulty and Alan Ring. Gareth MacHale had been in the points until turbo problems dropped him down the leaderboard in the final test.
In the Junior World Rally Championship category, Aaron Burkart re-took top spot this morning and now lies over a minute up on Martin Prokop, who is second.
Hans Weijs had been in contention and within striking distance of the lead in the J-WRC until he crashed out in SS14. He has since been taken to hospital for a pre-cautionary check-up. His co-driver, Bjorn de Gandt was unharmed.
Of the other retirees, the only 'works' man to go out on day two was Conrad Rautenbach. The Zimbabwean, who started fifth in his Citroen Junior Team-run C4 WRC, went off the road and into a ditch in Sloughan Glen 1. It is not yet known if he will re-start under the SupeRally.
The action now concludes on Sunday with five stages on the bill and around 52 competitive kilometres. SS15, the 11.48 kilometre-run through Geevagh starts at 08.35 hours local time.