Trier, Germany: Thierry Neuville won the last two morning stages in the Rally of Germany on Saturday but Ott Tanak retained his lead.
Tanak, who heads the championship standings, had increased his edge by taking the second stage of the morning. Neuville hit back to take the next two in the countryside around Trier, not far from the Luxembourg border.
Neuville finished 0.2 seconds ahead of the Estonian in the 10th stage. In the final stage of the morning, Tanak and his Toyota only finished fifth, conceding 1.5 seconds to the Belgian Hyundai driver.
Tanak goes into the afternoon's stages still 5.0sec ahead of Neuville.
"I had a good rhythm and feeling with the car," said Neuville. "The afternoon is going to be a different story."
The race changes surface with four stages across the formidable 'Panzerplatte', the tank training roads on the Baumholder military base.
"Now the big stages are waiting," said Tanak. "That should be more interesting."
Frenchman Sebastien Ogier is a distant third in his Citroen, 30.3s off the lead, but only 3.7s ahead of Briton Kris Meeke in a Toyota. But the tank roads can bring big time swings.
"I think the biggest difference will happen in Baumholder so let's see," said Ogier.