Sebastien Ogier is on the brink of a fourth straight World championship title after taking the lead at Rally Catalunya – Rally de Espana.
The French VW Polo driver enjoyed five stage wins on Saturday and now needs just one point from the Spain stop to seal the title.
Overnight leader Dani Sordo had hoped to become the first Spanish driver to win on home soil since Carlos Sainz in 1995, but struggled with understeer and with one day of racing left is 5.8 seconds adrift.
Thierry Neuville, Sordo’s teammate, also struggled with the handling of his Hyundai.
The Belgian ended the day one minute and 3.9 seconds off the pace.
Neuville is now the only driver who can deprive Ogier of the crown after Andreas Mikkleson who is currently second in the championship standings crashed out on stage 12.
That scenario, however, is unlikely as Neuville must claim maximum points and hope Ogier fails to score.
Mikkleson suffered a spectacular wipe-out, drifting into a barrier before rolling heavily.
The Norwegian and co-driver Anders Jaeger fortunately escaped unhurt.