Jari-Matti Latvala edged further ahead of Volkswagen team-mate Sébastien Ogier during Saturday morning’s stages at Rally Argentina.
The Finn was quicker than his colleague through both 39km tests in his Polo R to increase his advantage from 17.7sec to 21.2sec.
The roads in the Calamuchita Valley, south of Villa Carlos Paz, were smoother and faster than yesterday and Latvala took advantage to finish second in the opening test from San Agustin to Villa del Dique and then win the Amboy to Yacanto stage.
Kris Meeke remains third in a Citroen DS3, despite a lucky escape when he slid into a bank after a sixth gear corner over a crest. He is 2min 08.7sec behind Ogier.
Andreas Mikkelsen, restarting under Rally 2 rules after yesterday’s final stage retirement, was on a charge. The Norwegian won the opener in his Polo R and climbed from seventh to fourth in the next test to trail Meeke by 2min 50.9sec.
Robert Kubica is 6.0sec behind in fifth in a Ford Fiesta RS, having overhauled the similar car of Elfyn Evans. Martin Prokop is seventh and Thierry Neuville eighth, his Hyundai i20 restored to health after retiring yesterday. Little more than 40sec covers the quartet.
Dani Sordo retired for a second time after the opening test with more engine related problems in his i20.
In WRC 2, Nasser Al-Attiyah still leads in his Ford Fiesta RRC from Diego Dominguez, and the pair are ninth and 10th overall. Series leader Yuriy Protasov retired from second after rolling in the opening stage.