The Qatari, who drives a Fiesta RRC, was fastest on all but one of Friday's stages and will take a commanding lead of 10m30.7s into Saturday's final leg.
With such an advantage over the rest of the field, the biggest challenge Al-Kuwari and his Irish co-driver Killian Duffy faced today was avoiding the hazards that had caught out so many of their WRC 2 rivals.
“We had a good gap so there was no need to push, instead we had to keep our concentration,” said Al-Kuwari. “The two repeated stages this afternoon were so rough it was like they were different roads from the first pass. Now we just have to get to the finish. There’s nothing more to prove.”
Peruvian driver Nicolas Fuchs is second, back in the position he lost on Thursday’s final stage after the suspension on his Mitsubishi Lancer collapsed. “I tried to go fast today but it was very rough. Tomorrow we will take it easier,” he said.
Fuchs regained the place following the retirements of both Yuriy Protasov and Ricardo Trivino early in the day’s opening stage. Protasov was sidelined by an electrical problem with his Subaru Impreza’s throttle, while a broken differential stopped Trivino’s Mitsubishi.
Argentine Marcos Ligato is third, 10m23.6sec behind Fuchs, having fought back from a suspension-related retirement on Thursday’s opening stage.
“I was so disappointed after yesterday that I didn’t really want to continue but my family said I must,” he said. “I must try to get as many points as I can so we were going flat out today.”
Juan Carlos Alonso is fourth in a Mitsubishi Lancer, more than five minutes behind Ligato.
Armin Kremer is fifth, eight minutes further back. The German had been third until the repeated Amboy – Yacanto stage [SS9] when steering damage to his Subaru Impreza delayed him by more than 20 minutes.