Juho Hanninen will start the final leg of Rally Azores with a lead of just 1.3 seconds after Andreas Mikkelsen carved into his advantage on Friday's third loop of stages.
Three stage wins for Mikkelsen (Skoda UK) coupled with a mistake by factory Skoda driver Hanninen on the final stage of the day led to the reigning Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion's lead shrinking from 10sec to just 1.3 with six stages to go on Saturday.
Bruno Magalhaes remains third for Peugeot Portugal, and though he has not been able to shake off Jan Kopecky's Skoda, the gap between them is up to 4.9sec – larger than for most of the rally so far.
Bryan Bouffier is now back up to fifth in the ROMO-run Peugeot France car after his tough start to the event, though this means he will run first on the road on the final leg. Patrik Sandell in back in seventh for Skoda Sweden after being penalized for checking in early at a time control.