Paolo Andreucci has reclaimed the lead of Rally Sanremo, but only by 0.9 seconds over Giandomenico Basso, as the Italians continue to dominate their home round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Abarth driver Basso had grabbed the lead with a superb performance and perfect tyre choice on the damp 44-kilometre Ronde stage last night.
He immediately lost first place to Peugeot man Andreucci on this morning's opening test, but fought back on the following Teglia stage and recovered to within a second of the leader.
Luca Rossetti has kept himself in contention in the second Abarth too. His choice of hard tyres did not work for SS7, but paid off on SS8, where he was fastest, putting him 15.5s behind Andreucci with three stages to go.
But the quickest man this morning has been championship leader Juho Hanninen. Not usually renowned for his asphalt pace, the Skoda driver won SS7 and was second fastest to Rossetti on SS8, bringing him up to fourth and less than half a minute behind the leaders. Should he reach second place, Hanninen could clinch the 2010 IRC title today.
Second behind Hanninen on SS7 brought Bryan Bouffier into fifth, but a puncture on the next stage dropped his Peugeot outside the top 10 and let Kris Meeke (Peugeot UK) back into the top five, just ahead of Skoda's Freddy Loix.
Veteran Gianfranco Cunico is now seventh in his Peugeot as Jan Kopecky (Skoda) lost a little more time with a slow puncture on Teglia.
Peugeot's young talent Thierry Neuville has crept up to ninth ahead of fellow 207 driver Bruno Magalhaes, but Guy Wilks is out of the rally having damaged his Skoda Fabia against a wall on the opening Ceppo stage.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Paolo Andreucci Peugeot 1h57m55.1s
2. Giandomenico Basso Abarth + 0.9s
3. Luca Rossetti Abarth + 15.5s
4. Juho Hanninen Skoda + 28.5s
5. Kris Meeke Peugeot + 49.1s
6. Freddy Loix Skoda + 58.4s
7. Gianfranco Cunico Peugeot + 2m03.6s
8. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 2m05.3s
9. Thierry Neuville Peugeot + 2m24.9s
10. Bruno Magalhaes Peugeot + 2m32.7s