Sebastien Ogier edged away from Sebastien Loeb once again as day two of Rally Sweden came to an end.
Loeb had done his utmost to keep the pressure on Ogier during Saturday, and trimmed a few seconds from the Volkswagen's lead in the morning. But Ogier responded in the afternoon, sharing the Sagen stage win with Loeb, and then setting the pace on the next two tests.
Loeb outpaced him by 1.1sec on the short Hagfors Sprint, keeping the gap at 26.9sec with six stages to go.
The French duo have now left the rest of the field behind. Jari-Matti Latvala struggled with his VW on the second leg-two loop and lost third place to Mads Ostberg in the best of the Qatar M-Sport Fords. While Ostberg is 6.1s in front of Latvala, he trails Loeb by half a minute
Evgeny Novikov is taking it easy in a solitary fifth place. Fellow Qatar M-Sport man Juho Hanninen was edging away from teammate Thierry Neuville until sliding into a snow bank on the Hagfors Sprint stage and losing sixth.
The recovering Dani Sordo is closing on ninth-placed Martin Prokop but will go into the final day still 35.8sec adrift.
Leading positions after SS16:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier VW 2h18m22.8s
2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 26.9s
3. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport Ford + 57.7s
4. Jari-Matti Latvala VW + 1m03.8s
5. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport Ford + 1m43.5s
6. Thierry Neuville Qatar M-Sport Ford + 3m16.2s
7. Juho Hanninen Qatar M-Sport Ford + 4m10.5s
8. Henning Solberg M-Sport Ford + 5m16.7s
9. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 7m56.1s
10. Dani Sordo Citroen + 8m31.9s