Elfyn Evans has the Croatia Rally victory in his sights and will head into the final stage with a commanding 28.1 second advantage over Ott Tänak.
The Toyota driver grew the lead by 5.1s to open the day, but Tänak responded to that on SS18, taking 1.3s out of the lead gap to make it 29.2s.
On the second pass of Trakošćan – Vrbno the pendulum swung towards Tänak once more, closing into Evans by 1.1s – but the rally leader still holds a comfortable gap to the M-Sport driver.
And in the case of Tänak, he is looking forward to getting to the end to take a podium finish.
“I am thinking about taking the car home, nothing else,” he explained.
“It’s challenging so let’s see. I was fooled with the start of this one – the clock froze.”
The battle between Kalle Rovanperä and Sébastien Ogier stayed pretty much the same on the penultimate stage, only edging 0.1s more in Rovanperä’s direction to take the gap up to 6.3s.
But with powerstage points crucial for the manufacturer championship, Ogier said he wouldn’t stop pushing.
“The powerstage is a different story,” he said. “Points are counting for the team so we have to keep pushing.”
Pierre-Louis Loubet lost out on sixth place to Takamoto Katsuta earlier on Sunday morning and that gap has continued to grow as he took it relatively easy.
But it’s not been a straightforward morning for the M-Sport driver – who picked up damage to his steering on the previous stage.
Loubet is now keen to just make it to the finish.
“The direction of my steering is completely bent so I am being very careful,” he explained.
“We have nothing to play for and with a feeling like that I just want to go through.”
Thierry Neuville made it through Sunday morning with no issues as he focuses on trying to grab some powerstage points.
The Hyundai driver was keen to take some positives from the weekend following his SS11 crash on Saturday.
“The feeling isn’t great but we’re going to push as hard as we can [in the powerstage],” he said.
“We have only five points that we can take from the weekend so we need to fight – but it won’t be an easy test.”