Citroë* were heading for the manufacturers' world rally title after Sébastien Loeb ended the second leg of the season-ending Wales Rally GB just 7.3sec behind Ford's leader Jari-Matti Latvala.
The Frenchman has already clinched his fifth drivers' title in a row but his team need to bank seven points in South Wales to take back the team crown from Ford. Loeb could yet become the first driver to win 11 rallies in a single season since he is well-placed to overhaul Latvala in today's closing four stages or force him into an error. As leader, the Finn will be the first to go on what are likely to be treacherously icy roads. He skidded off into a roadside barrier on yesterday's 13th stage, bouncing back on to the road.
Citroën's Dani Sordo was in third place, a further 20.6sec behind Loeb, and the former world champion Petter Solberg of Norway was fourth for Subaru, 24.6sec adrift of the Spaniard. Mikko Hirvonen of Ford, who won in Wales last year, had put himself out of contention when he rolled his car and lost more than four minutes on Friday. He is now in ninth place while Valentino Rossi, who is driving a Ford in his third competitive appearance in the Rally World Championship, moved up to 15th.