The Finn is 24.0sec clear of Robert Kubica’s Citroen DS3 RRC and his pace was such that while he holds a handsome lead, the following four cars are covered by less than six seconds.
Ketomaa led after the opening Himos test and gradually stretched his advantage, his day culminating with a remarkable fourth fastest overall in the final Killeri stage.
“It’s fantastic because I can push so hard all the time that I don’t need to think about what I’m doing. Sometimes you have good days and things can end so quickly so I need to focus on tomorrow. The grip has been amazing all day,” said Ketomaa, who was using DMACK’s new soft compound tyre.
Kubica was fourth for much of the day, but climbed to second in the rain-soaked penultimate test, despite stalling his DS3’s engine and throwing the car into a spin.
Evans was initially Ketomaa’s closest pursuer, and despite slipping behind Kubica, the Welshman was far from despondent.
“The car has shown fantastic promise. We’re learning as we’re going and I’m happy with the progress we’ve made. We need to sort out a few little things for tomorrow and then we’ll go again,” said Evans, who was quickest in the second test.
Karl Kruuda also won a stage en route to fourth in his Fiesta R5, 3.8sec behind Evans. He is tied with New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon in a Skoda Fabia S2000.
“There wasn’t much mileage but it has been a long time out of the car for me and today was a good way to feel my way back,” said Paddon.
Finn Esapekka Lappi rounds off the top six, but it was a day to forget for Eyvind Brynildsen. The Norwegian’s Fiesta R5 misfired all day and a broken track control arm, a catalogue of electrical issues and wiper failure left him 17th.