Bruno Magalhaes is stamping his authority on Rally Azores, extending his lead over Jan Kopecky up to 13.3sec.
The Portuguese Peugeot driver has been off the pace on gravel in the International Rally Championship so far this year, but is flying on his home event, with a stage win on SS9 bolstering his advantage.
That made up for a scare two stages earlier, when Magalhaes had backed off in the belief that spectators were waving at him to slow down because of an obstacle or crash ahead, leaving the leader perplexed at the end of the stage.
The works Skodas are now second and third, with Juho Hanninen making good progress after this morning's puncture and closing to within 3.8sec of Kopecky.
Kris Meeke is back up to speed this afternoon, having discovered that his earlier handling problems were caused by his morning puncture affecting his Peugeot's geometry. He has now taken fourth from Andreas Mikkelsen as the Ford driver loses touch with the leaders.