After setting the fastest time in the shakedown to the Corsica Rally Sébastien Ogier continued his perfect start to the event by winning all four stages on Friday.
The French VW driver can claim a fourth world title with a victory at his home rally if other results go his way.
He now leads closest rival Thierry Neuville of Belgium by 44 seconds.
Belgium’s Neuville moved to second overall with a fine drive but he was gifted the position after Briton Kris Meeke lost just under two and a half minutes due to a puncture in the third stage.
Jari-Matti Latvala from Finland was seventh after the morning stages but picked up his pace in the afternoon to move up to third in his Polo R, 14 seconds behind Neuville.
Andreas Mikkelsen was a further 1.3 seconds adrift in fourth place in his Polo R.
The Norwegian is 59.3 seconds behind Ogier’s pace.
Ireland’s Craig Breen had a trouble-free day in his Citroen DS3 to drive into fifth place overall.
Breen has only three finishes this season with his best a third place in Rally Finland.