Independent Ford drivers Mads Ostberg and Evgeny Novikov have both admitted they will need the weather to deteriorate if they are to stand any chance of overturning Mikko Hirvonen's Rally of Portugal lead.
The Citroen-driving Finn is 52 seconds ahead after the first stage of the afternoon, but the Fiesta RS WRC pair chasing him have not given up on upsetting Hirvonen's plans to take his first win in a DS3 WRC.
"If the rain comes back then we can fight again, because it means that we can take some more risks and gamble a little bit more," said Ostberg. "But, when the weather is more dry like it was this morning, then the times are quite close together and it's much harder to make any kind of impression."
Short heavy showers are forecast for this afternoon, with more prolonged rain expected to return for Sunday's fourth and final leg.