Peugeot's Kris Meeke has emphasized his dominance of the Sata Rallye Azores by setting the fastest time on each of the three morning stages of day two, despite treacherous conditions due to rain and high winds on the mid-Atlantic island of Sao Miguel.
But behind him in round four of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, there has been a change as Skoda's Jan Kopecky moved into second overall, ahead of Peugeot's Nicolas Vouilloz. The Frenchman lost 20 seconds to Meeke and 15s to Kopecky in the second stage of the morning, the 21.7km Graminhais test.
However, Vouilloz responded on the final stage of the morning, the 21.9km Tronqueira run, and is now just 1.2s behind Kopecky with five stages of the event remaining.
Meeke is now 1m05s ahead of Kopecky, while Vouilloz is 51sec clear of the surviving Abarth Grande Punto of Anton Alen.
Fourth placed Alen suffered a poor opening stage, losing 18s to the pursuing Freddy Loix (Peugeot), but regained 8s in the following two tests and is now 19.6s ahead of the Belgian.
One of the leading IRC contenders, Abarth's Giandomenico Basso, retired from sixth on the Graminhais stage due to suspension damage incurred in a shunt on the previous test.