Freddy Loix is two stages away from wrapping up a seventh Ypres Rally victory, having maintained his comfortable lead through the third loop of today's mammoth 12-stage itinerary.
With only two more evening tests to go, the leading positions are all set bar any misfortunes, with works Skoda driver Loix 1m35s ahead of PH Peugeot's Bryan Bouffier.
Third place is now Hans Weijs' to lose, as his rival Bernd Casier dropped back with broken power steering on SS15 and then retired his Skoda, putting former Junior World Rally Championship title contender Weijs on course for a podium on his S2000 debut.
Guy Wilks' recovery drive after his early double puncture has now taken him to sixth, behind Michal Solowow and Karl Kruuda, despite the Peugeot UK driver losing more time with a third damaged tire of the day on SS16.
Toni Gardemeister (TGS Skoda) and Luca Rossetti (Abarth) are also now back in the top 10 after their earlier punctures.
Leading positions after SS16:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Freddy Loix Skoda 2h17m31.6s
2. Bryan Bouffier PH Peugeot + 1m35.3s
3. Hans Weijs Wevers Skoda + 3m19.9s
4. Michal Solowow Cersanit Ford + 5m08.1s
5. Karl Kruuda ME3 Skoda + 5m52.3s
6. Guy Wilks Peugeot UK (Kronos) + 6m29.3s
7. Mark van Eldik Skoda (private) + 6m38.3s
8. Toni Gardemeister TGS Skoda + 6m44.6s
9. Bernhard Ten Brinke Skoda (private) + 6m47.3s
10. Luca Rossetti National Proklama Abarth + 7m02.3s