Sebastien Loeb has passed Marcus Gronholm for the lead of the Tour de Corse.
The world champion had trailed his title rival throughout the morning, but was fastest in all three afternoon stages, moving ahead - by just 0.1 seconds - in SS5. A subsequent stage win in SS6 means that Loeb will take a 4.8-second lead into the second day.
"It's not a lot, but it's the lead," said Loeb. "We didn't start the day very well. Marcus was faster than us. We had no problems, but he was very fast.
"So we had to take a lot of risks to pass him, and now we have the lead again.
"I'm flat-out. It's not my driving style to take a lot of risks, but I'm driving as fast as possible."
Gronholm said he was powerless to resist Loeb this afternoon, but was optimistic of fighting back tomorrow.
"We have lost a little bit now in the last two stages," he said. "He's pushing to the maximum I think, so what can I do?
"It's okay. We should be at the front, unfortunately we are not now, but it's only two seconds and we'll start again tomorrow."
Dani Sordo has been unable to keep up with the leaders during the afternoon loop and is now 14 seconds behind Gronholm in third overall.
Francois Duval held fourth throughout the loop despite pressure from the Subarus and Jari-Matti Latvala. The Belgian remained frustrated by the 39.3-second gap to the top three, but is optimistic he can find more speed on leg two.
"It's not so bad. I'm pushing really, really hard," Duval said. "Maybe tomorrow the roads will be better for me - it's more narrow and more twisty."
Petter Solberg came within 0.2 seconds of passing the OMV Kronos Citroen in SS4, then lost time in the following stages due to problems with his Subaru's starting system. He also continued to struggle with the understeer that had hampered him in the morning.
Subaru's teammate Chris Atkinson lacked grip throughout the loop - set-up changes in service proving to be a backwards step. He lost sixth to Stobart Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala during the afternoon.
Xevi Pons and Jan Kopecky remain in lonely eighth and ninth places, with Henning Solberg now up to 10th for Stobart Ford, albeit only five seconds ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen's Ramsport Ford and eight clear of Manfred Stohl in the second OMV Citroen.
After making a promising start to his first event in a WRC car, Alessandro Bettega had to retire from ninth position when he went off the road in SS5 and was unable to get his Ford Focus back on course.
The new Suzuki SX4 hit its first problem when a severe loss of power cost Nicolas Bernardi five minutes in SS4. He attempted a temporary repair on the subsequent road section, before deciding to retire from the leg and return to service, having already fallen to 28th. He will rejoin under superally regulations tomorrow.
Leading positions after SS6:
Pos Driver Make Time 1. Loeb Citroen 59:29.7 2. Gronholm Ford + 4.8 3. Sordo Citroen + 18.5 4. Duval Citroen + 57.8 5. P Solberg Subaru +1:03.1 6. Latvala Ford +1:06.4 7. Atkinson Subaru +1:20.6 8. Pons Subaru +1:58.0 9. Kopecky Skoda +2:47.4 10. H Solberg Ford +3:35.7