Volkswagen driver Jari-Matti Latvala made the most of his advantageous position in the starting order by building a lead of 32.1s after Day 2 of Rally Mexico.
The event's Friday action consisted of seven stages, including two runs on the notoriously challenging El Chocolate and Las Minas as well as a repeat of Thursdays's three short tests.
Latvala, going through the stages on a cleaner road than championship leader Sebastien Ogier due to being eighth in the starting order, won all four of the day's long runs and one of the Super Specials.
The Finn beat the championship leader by 24 seconds in the morning loop and, even though Ogier was closer in the afternoon, Latvala extended the gap by a further 10.9s as the day concluded.
Dani Sordo emerged as Hyundai's main contender in third place, the Spaniard even edging Ogier out in the 54km SS4.
His teammate Thierry Neuville showed even stronger pace in that test, but would end up retiring from the day after hitting a bank and breaking his suspension.
Sordo was able to make it to the top four in all four long stages despite suffering from throttle issues in the afternoon as he ended up with a deficit of 1m15.6s.
His closest challengers were Andreas Mikkelsen, winner of the SS6 street stage, and Hayden Paddon.
The Kiwi completed a challenging day, having his hand bandaged at the mid-day service after burning it in the car - and then sliding into a ditch in SS8.
"Not a good stage. I don't know what happened but a third of the way through the car just filled with dust! We couldn't see much and went off into a ditch," Paddon explained.
M-Sport's Mads Ostberg and Dmack driver Ott Tanak ended up sixth and seventh respectively with Martin Prokop, Lorenzo Bertelli and WRC2 leader Teemu Suninen completing the top 10.
Eric Camilli lost over 10 minutes following a streak of issues that included a puncture and gearbox gremlins, while local hero Benito Guerra joined Neuville on the retirement list.
Standings after SS10:
|Pos.||Driver / Co-Driver||Car||Time/Delay|
|3|| Dani Sordo
|9|| Lorenzo Bertelli