Kris Meeke is on course for victory in the Rally of Scotland having extended his lead over Guy Wilks this morning
Although Wilks (Skoda) trimmed a few seconds from Peugeot driver Meeke's advantage on the first stage of the leg, Meeke won the next two tests and is now nearly half a minute clear at the front of the field.
"It's absolutely fantastic," said Meeke. "I was a little bit concerned on the first stage because I made a few mistakes, but we just had to get the momentum back."
Wilks insisted he was still focused on finishing the rally and was not looking at Meeke's times.
"It's not a case of us going for it - if it comes, it comes," said Wilks at the end of the long Loch Ard stage. "We did back off because there was a big risk of getting a puncture in there. It's a long stage and it's quite rough. If you get something like that early on it's going to totally wreck the stage."
Meeke questioned Wilks' suggestion that he would be content with second place, pointing out that his rival had been very confident of fighting for the win prior to the event.
"Did anyone read the papers last week? He was fairly determined, and all of a sudden when we take a few seconds out of him he's just going for the finish," Meeke said. "It's nice to have the power to change someone's mind."
Alister McRae is still third for Proton, despite some niggling gearshift problems this morning, while Jonathan Greer is holding off David Bogie in the battle to be top Group N car and fourth overall.
The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season