Ott Tanak closed in on victory at the Rally of Germany on Saturday after five-time world champion Sebastien Ogier's challenge petered out following a puncture on a stage raced around a military camp used for tank training.
Toyota driver Tanak, who won last time out in Finland, leads Dani Sordo in a Hyundai by 43.7secs with Jari-Matti Latvala in another Toyota 44.5secs off the lead.
Ogier had been second overnight, just 12 secs off Tanak's lead, but he finished Saturday in seventh place at 1min 51.2sec off the pace.
The Frenchman suffered a puncture in his Ford Fiesta on the marathon Panzerplatte stage, a mazy run hemmed in by concrete kerbs used to keep tanks on military tracks.
"I don't know how it happened, it was the same line like always. We know it's a bit of lottery with the rocks," said Ogier.
In the battle for the world championship, series leader Thierry Neuville in a Hyundai is fourth heading into Sunday's final three stages and well set to increase his overall lead over Ogier.
1. Ott Tanak-Martin Jarveoja (EST/Toyota Yaris) in 2h23:27:1, 2. Dani Sordo-Carlos del Barrio (ESP/Hyundai i20) 43.7, 3. Jari-Matti Latvala-Mikka Anttila (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 44.5, 4. Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) 52.5, 5. Esapekka Lappi-Janne Ferm (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 58.8, 6. Andreas Mikkelsen-Anders Jaeger(NOR/Hyundai i20) 1:50.7, 7. Sebastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (FRA/Ford Fiesta) 1:51.2, 8. Teemu Suninen-Mikko Markkula (FIN/Ford Fiesta) 1:57.0, 9. Mads Ostberg-Torstein Eriksen (NOR/Citroen C3) 2:20.4, 10. Craig Breen-Scott Martin (IRL-GBR/Citroën C3) 2:34.4
Tanak 6 (SS1, SS3 to SS7), Sordo 3 (SS9, SS12, SS13), Ogier 2 (SS2, SS14), Latvala 2 (SS8, SS15), Lappi 1 (SS10), Breen 1 (SS11)