After the chaos of the morning left Loeb over a minute and a half clear, the Citroen driver has taken it relatively easy.
He heads into Sunday's decisive three stages 1m42.9s ahead of Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, who is keeping Loeb's resurgent team-mate Mikko Hirvonen a comfortable half-minute behind.
The big news of Saturday afternoon was Ott Tanak's performance and retirement.
The Ford protege stormed through SS10 and SS11 to take the first asphalt stage wins of his WRC career, grabbing fourth from Mads Ostberg in the process. But Tanak then crashed out on the famously tough Panzerplatte stage that concluded the day.
Dani Sordo also stopped on Panzerplatte after damaging his Prodrive-run Mini. He had been running sixth.
Mini still has a representative in the top five, as Tanak and Sordo's disasters moved Chris Atkinson into fifth on his first outing for Motorsport Italia.
The rest of the order remains unclear as Peter van Merksteijn Jr rolled his Citroen near Tanak's incident. The Dutch driver was unhurt but his car blocked the course and stopped the stage.