Jari-Matti Latvala opened up a healthy lead over Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier at the Rally Mexico on Friday.
The Finn is 32.1 seconds clear of Ogier after SS10, having dominated the second day of the rally to be well clear.
Ogier, the three-time reigning world champion and victor in Mexico the past three times, gave up his lead early in the day after enduring the worst of the conditions.
"I'm happy with the gap tonight," Latvala said.
"I have to be a bit careful and patient because I don't need to take all the time in just one stage."
Despite multiple issues, Dani Sordo (Hyundai) is third - but over 75 seconds behind Latvala.
Andreas Mikkelsen, another Volkswagen driver, sits in fourth.