Sebastien Ogier was cruising toward a second consecutive Rally of Portugal victory with two stages to go.
After Ford's problems yesterday allowed the two Citroens to make a break, Ogier and Sebastien Loeb have gone into conservative mode for the final leg and are driving steadily to the finish 36 seconds apart.
"Absolutely no pushing, just focus on the pace notes and that is it for today," said Ogier. "It's not easy, for sure – on the first stage we were very slow and for this one we tried to take a small rhythm."
Jari-Matti Latvala is a lonely third for Ford, while his teammate Mikko Hirvonen won the opening stage of the morning and took fourth from Matthew Wilson in the process. But the Stobart Ford was back in front after SS15 as Hirvonen sustained a broken driveshaft and lost a minute.
"We did the last 10km with a broken driveshaft – the most twisty section in the whole rally and it broke there..." rued Hirvonen.
A power steering issue has slowed Henning Solberg (Stobart Ford) this morning and allowed Ice 1 Citroen's Kimi Raikkonen to close to within 12sec. Petter Solberg is pushing to catch both these two and eighth-placed Federico Villagra (Munchi's Ford) and the private Citroen driver was quickest on SS15.
Leading positions after SS15:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen 3h35m11.3s
2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 36.8s
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 3m43.7s
4. Matthew Wilson Stobart Ford + 6m12.9s
5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 6m30.2s
6. Henning Solberg Stobart Ford + 9m46.3s
7. Kimi Raikkonen Ice 1 Citroen + 9m58.9s
8. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford + 10m21.0s
9. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen + 10m55.6s
10. Dennis Kuipers Ferm Ford + 15m10.4s