Ott Tanak won three consecutive Wales Rally GB stages on Saturday afternoon, but failed to make up significant ground on Sebastien Ogier, who fought back in the final test.
Tanak, who has spent the entire rally in second so far, kicked off Saturday with a deficit of 37 seconds.
While the gap did not change after the morning leg, Tanak was quickest in the second run of all three tests in the afternoon.
However, Ogier responded by beating Tanak in SS15 by seven seconds and completing the leg with a lead of 31.8s.
Hyundai duo Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon continued to hold third and fourth respectively with Kris Meeke following them half a minute adrift.
Dani Sordo was sixth ahead of Mads Ostberg, the Norwegian having to deal with increasing pressure from the recovering Jari-Matti Latvala.
French duo Stephane Lefebvre and Eric Camilli completed the top 10.
Standings after SS15:
|Volkswagen Polo R||2h42m16.4s|
|Ford Fiesta RS||+31.8s|
|3||Hyundai NG i20||+1m33.5s|
|Hyundai NG i20||+1m46.8s|
|Hyundai NG i20||+3m34.8s|
|Ford Fiesta RS||+4m12.8s|
|Volkswagen Polo R||+4m19.9s|
Gilles de Turckheim
|Ford Fiesta RS||+7m26.7s|