Ford goes into day two of a demanding Rally Australia holding a 1-2 formation, with Mikko Hirvonen leading Jari-Matti Latvala, after both the front-running Citroesn's were eliminated in separate crashes (see separate stories).
The gap between the pair is now seven seconds following the two runs through the Coffs superspecial that concluded the Friday action. The two Finns took a fastest time apiece on the stage. After a day of extremely wet and slippery stages that saw both works Citroens crash while leading, Hirvonen said he was just happy to make it to the end of the leg.
"It's been a very difficult day and lots of difficult conditions. It hasn't been so enjoyable," he said. "I've made my own mistakes during the day. Other people made bigger mistakes so I'm just happy to be here. We'll see what we can do tomorrow."
Third-placed Petter Solberg lost a little time to the Fords on the superspecial, so is 44sec off the lead heading into Saturday. But if weather conditions improve tomorrow, he could find his road position allows him to close the gap to the Ford duo.
Stobart Ford teammates Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson continue to hold fourth and fifth.
Leading positions after SS10:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Mikko Hirvonen Ford 1h17m11.2s
2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 7.0s
3. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen + 44.3s
4. Henning Solberg Stobart Ford + 2m26.9s
5. Matthew Wilson Stobart Ford + 3m03.1s
6. Khalid Al Qassimi Abu Dhabi Ford + 4m47.3s
7. Hayden Paddon Symtech Subaru + 5m19.7s
8. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Mitsubishi + 6m39.9s
9. Oleksandr Saliuk Mentos Mitsubishi + 7m22.4s
10. Benito Guerra GMA Mitsubishi + 8m28.3s