Ostberg's alternator problem immediately increased Ogier's advantage, as on the opening stage third-placed Mikko Hirvonen's Citroen had slipped further away from the M-Sport Ford and Volkswagen ahead.
Even with his lead now so comfortable, Ogier continued to set a relentless pace. Two more stage wins left him 1m08s clear of Hirvonen as the loop was completed with the Leon street stage, where the Finn was fractionally quicker.
Hirvonen's second place is also somewhat solitary. Pursuer Thierry Neuville had to take it gingerly through all three stages after an early mistake damaged his Ford's steering. He reached service safely and is still on course for the podium.
The gap between fourth and fifth placed Dani Sordo and Nasser Al-Attiyah remains stable despite minor dramas for both, with Sordo getting a puncture and Al-Attiyah spinning on the Ibarrilla opener.
Chris Atkinson's recovery drive has now brought him up to eighth. Fellow satellite Citroen driver Benito Guerra is the Australian's next target, 16s ahead, after which Atkinson will set off after sixth-placed Ken Block.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mikko Hirvonen