Bastia (France) (AFP) - Five-time world champion Sebastien Ogier stormed into a half a minute lead after clocking the quickest time in three of Friday's four special stages in the Rally of Corsica.
The Ford Fiesta driver arrived at the Mediterranean island for this fourth leg of the championship on the back of last month's success in Mexico.
"We are very happy, we pushed hard all day," said the 34-year-old Frenchman who with co-driver Julien Ingrassia lead by 33.6sec from Belgian Thierry Neuville, who took the day's concluding fourth stage in a Hyundai.
Briton Kris Meeke in a Citroen is placed third at 38.7sec.
Nine-time former world champion Sebastien Loeb, who is competing in a handful of rallies this year, is out of the running after an accident in the second stage.