Jari Ketomaa moved ahead of Craig Breen in their battle for the Rally Liepaja-Ventspils lead on day two in Latvia.
To his amazement given his lack of snow experience, Breen had won the opening five stages of the event and built up a 10.7-second advantage over his rival.
But Ketomaa struck back just before Saturday's midday service, beating Breen by 11s on the Edole stage and immediately taking the lead.
As the afternoon went on, Breen felt his Super 2000 Peugeot was being outgunned in the power stakes by Ketomaa's Regional Rally Car Ford, and ended the day 12.1s adrift, with six stages to go on Sunday.
Francois Delecour was also frustrated by a lack of outright speed on the increasingly fast stages, and lost third place to top Production driver Alexey Lukyanuk.
Leading positions after SS9: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jari Ketomaa Autotek Ford 1h09m19.9s 2. Craig Breen Sainteloc Peugeot + 12.1s 3. Alexey Lukyanuk ASRT Mitsubishi + 1m03.4s 4. Francois Delecour Kronos Peugeot + 1m17.4s 5. Vytautas Svedas Juta Mitsubishi + 2m22.3s 6. Jan Cerny Czech Skoda + 2m32.0s 7. Siim Plangi ASRT Mitsubishi + 2m36.9s 8. Raimonds Kisiels Adapta Mini + 2m51.3s 9. Vitaliy Pushkar Pro Mitsubishi + 3m04.8s 10. Aivis Egle R-Evolution Mitsubishi + 3m42.2s