Sebastien Loeb remains on course for Rally New Zealand victory as the arrival of the forecast rain on the final morning failed to shake up the order.
Citroen requested on Saturday night that its drivers Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen halt their close battle and hold station in first and second through Sunday's stages, which allowed Hirvonen - who only had inappropriate hard tires left for the wet stages, to take it very easy, letting Loeb pull 17.4 seconds clear.
Ford's Petter Solberg has been unable to gain from the change in weather and is still 1m32s behind in third.
The action elsewhere in the top six has been closer. Ott Tanak started the day closing in on his fourth-placed M-Sport Ford team-mate Evgeny Novikov, before the Russian responded and re-established a 21.8sec cushion.
Qatar Citroen driver Thierry Neuville has gained on both of them, his crossover mixture of hard and soft tyres working extremely well as he took two stage wins to get within 16.3sec of Tanak and edge 22.6s clear of Dani Sordo, although the Mini had gained a little by winning the Auckland Domain superspecial.
Three more stages remain after midday service to decide the final result.
Leading positions after SS18:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 3h44m24.0s
2. Mikko irvonen Citroen + 17.4s
3. Petter Solberg Ford + 1m32.6s
4. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 2m00.9s
5. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 2m22.7s
6. Thierry Neuville Qatar Citroen + 2m39.0s
7. Dani Sordo Prodrive Mini + 3m01.6s
8. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 4m56.5s
9. Armindo Araujo Portugal Mini + 8m49.3s
10. Ken Block Monster Ford + 9m31.9s