Kubica was flawless in treacherous conditions to secure his fourth win of the season in a Citroen DS3 RRC and he leads the absent Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari by eight points. A top two finish at his final nominated round, the mixed surface Rally de Espana, will guarantee him the crown no matter what Al-Kuwari does at his final outing in Britain in November.
His only serious rival was Elfyn Evans, and when the Welshman dropped three minutes changing a puncture on his Ford Fiesta R5 early on Friday, there was little doubt about the outcome.
Kubica could afford to ease off to preserve his lead, but preferred to push hard when it was safe to do so to increase his experience. He eventually triumphed by 4min 03.9sec from the recovering Evans.
“The conditions were so tricky that we encountered everything you can find on asphalt, which gave me a lot of experience. It was a good rally from that point of view, as well as the points we gained, but to be honest it’s more important and valuable to gain experience,” said Kubica.
“After the first two real stages we had a three minute gap with 250km still to go. It can get boring by backing off and when you do that, you don’t learn anything.
“My goal is to learn as much as I can so I backed off where I didn’t feel confident or where the conditions were tricky. When the stages were clean, or we had good pace notes in the second pass, we tried to push,” he added.
Evans was encouraged by the weekend. “Our pace yesterday was good and although we were a bit cautious today in the tricky conditions, we wanted to get to the finish. We have good pace when we put our minds to it and it’s a question of doing that for the whole rally now,” he said.
Rashid Al Ketbi finished third in a Fiesta R5, more than 14 minutes behind Evans. Robert Barrable retired his Fiesta R5 with broken steering on Friday but restarted under Rally 2 regulations to finish fourth, nearly 12 minutes behind the United Arab Emirates driver.
Ricardo Trivino was fifth in a Subaru Impreza with Venezuela’s Alejandro Lombardo rounding off the top six in a Mitsubishi Lancer.