Sebastien Ogier extended his Rally Poland lead to a minute over Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen with just four Sunday stages left.
Mikkelsen temporarily re-emerged in first place on Saturday morning when Ogier had to stop at the scene of Mads Ostberg's Goldap crash, but once the officials awarded Ogier an adjusted time to compensate for his delay, the two VWs were 16 seconds apart.
That gap widened on the second run of the long Goldap stage when Mikkelsen had front brake problems, forcing him to back right off.
He had a sufficient cushion to do so and retain second, as the third VW of Jari-Matti Latvala had dropped back to seventh when his attempt to repair the suspension damaged on Goldap 1 failed and it collapsed again.
Once that was resolved, Latvala's hitherto dark mood brightened and he started charging back into podium contention.
Third place currently belongs to Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, with his team-mate Juho Hanninen having fallen behind both the Belgian and Mikko Hirvonen's M-Sport Ford due to discomfort with his steering.
By the end of the day, Hanninen was only 0.4s ahead of Latvala. The pair are 14s behind Hirvonen, who trails Neuville by 10s.
Robert Kubica's home rally went awry when he smashed his right rear suspension on a rock while running sixth. He should be able to rejoin for Sunday, albeit with 20 minutes of penalties.
Ostberg's hopes of restarting for the final leg were dashed when rollcage damage was discovered on his Citroen following his Saturday morning crash.
His team-mate Kris Meeke is up to ninth on his recovery charge after his own Goldap incident, and has Hayden Paddon and Henning Solberg as targets for the final leg.
Leading positions after SS20: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier VW 2h08m47.3s 2. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +1m01.8s 3. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +2m20.5s 4. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ford +2m31.2s 5. Juho Hanninen Hyundai +2m45.2s 6. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +2m45.6s 7. Hayden Paddon Hyundai +4m10.3s 8. Henning Solberg Solberg Ford +4m29.5s 9. Kris Meeke Citroen +4m33.0s 10. Martin Prokop Czech Ford +5m18.6s