Sebastien Ogier will take a half-minute lead into the second and final day of the Jordan Rally after going flat-out to the end of leg one rather than tactically slowing.
Although first on the road is an extremely tough start position to have in Jordan, Citroen driver Ogier was confident that if he had a sufficient advantage, he could stay ahead tomorrow even while clearing the stages of dust for those behind.
So while all his main rivals deliberately slowed on today's concluding Jordan River stage to make sure they were not first on the road, Ogier kept charging and extended his lead to 31.6 seconds over team-mate Sebastien Loeb.
The world champion chose not to make his intentions very clear by stopping early on Jordan River to drop time, while Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala - who is just 1.5s down on Loeb - waited until the final yards of the stage to slow.
Petter Solberg (Solberg Citroen) is also very much in the hunt, running 2s behind Latvala in fourth.
But Mikko Hirvonen is now two and a half minutes off the lead in fifth, the delays from running first on the road today being compounded by a power steering issue on his Ford for the second half of Jordan River.
Kimi Raikkonen goes into the next leg in a strong sixth place in the Ice 1 Citroen, having repassed Stobart Ford's Matthew Wilson this afternoon. Wilson is now the only Stobart car in the points as Mads Ostberg stopped on the first stage of the loop with a gearbox problem.
Nasser Al-Attiyah leads the S2000 class by nearly two minutes despite a misfire this afternoon.
Leading positions after SS12: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen 1h32m53.4s 2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 31.6s 3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 33.1s 4. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen + 35.3s 5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 2m30.9s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ice 1 Citroen + 2m45.8s 7. Matthew Wilson Stobart Ford + 2m57.8s 8. Khalid Al Qassimi Abu Dhabi Ford + 4m49.7s 9. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford + 4m54.2s 10. Nasser Al-Attiyah Barwa Ford + 5m19.3s