After fourteen all-asphalt stages, the Pole brought his Citroen DS3 RRC back to service in Strasbourg with a lead of 3m 30.1s over Welshman Elfyn Evans, who dropped out of winning contention when he got a puncture on Friday.
In a glimpse of what might have been, Evans, in a Ford Fiesta R5, was quickest on two of Saturday morning’s tests while Kubica was untouchable through the third. In the afternoon, both drivers won two stages apiece.
Rashid Al Ketbi completes the provisional podium, although the Fiesta R5 driver is a distant 9min 46sec behind Evans.
“The mistake that Evans made yesterday helped us but I'm still driving well and without risks,” said Kubica, who will move top in the WRC 2 championship standings if he wins here.
“It was a difficult day but we had no problems. The stages were quite tricky with a lot of cuts and mud. It was the first time for me driving with these tyres in the wet,” he added.
Evans overcame a technical issue to remain on course for 18 points on Sunday – the same result he achieved at Rallye Deutschland.
“We had a small brake problem but it was manageable,” he explained. “When it happened in the first stage this morning I expected it would get worse but it didn’t, so it hasn't been a big issue. Overall it’s been a good day, I can’t complain. I'm pleased with the progress we made from yesterday.”
Ricardo Trivino is fourth in a Subaru Impreza, 24 minutes behind Kubica, with Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X driver Marco Vallario rounding off the top five.