Ford's challenge for victory on Rally New Zealand remains alive, it insists, courtesy of a wet weather system moving into Auckland in time for the event's final day on Sunday.
The Blue Oval has endured a tough opening day on the seventh round of the World Rally Championship.
Petter Solberg was ruled out of contention by the team's decision to run him on hard tyres in conditions which favoured soft Michelins, while Jari-Matti Latvala dropped more than four minutes when he went off the road on the penultimate test of the day.
Solberg's tyre strategy for the morning might have cost him on Friday, but team boss Malcolm Wilson is adamant it could still pay dividends. The Norwegian is fourth tonight, 1m39.3s off leader Sebastien Loeb.
"Petter's got six soft tyres to use," said Wilson, "and that's going to give us an advantage when the rain comes.
"Under normal rally conditions, you would have to look at the gap and say it's not possible, but we do have this weather warning coming for Saturday night and into Sunday and it's Petter who has the perfect package to deal with that."
Solberg said he hoped the weather moved in sooner to allow him to run the more suitable tyres for one of Saturday's longer loops.
"There aren't so many kilometres for me to make up the time on Sunday," he said, "but, of course, we will push hard."