Ott Tänak lies in fourth place going into the final day of the inaugural Central European Rally Sunday.
This is the first ever Central European Rally, held in three countries, the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.
After finishing third in Wednesday's shake-down stage, Ott Tänak, driving in his penultimate race with M-Sport Ford, placed second at the end of Thursday's stages, which included a stage two win.
In difficult conditions including gathering darkness later on on the Friday, Finn Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota), looking to wrap up his second back-to-back WRC title win this weekend, won four of the six stages and lay in first place at day's end, 36.4 seconds ahead of Thierry Neuville (Hyundai).
Welshman Elfyn Evans (Toyota), the only driver who could, going into the race, in theory catch Rovanperä in the championship standings, is third, followed by Tänak. Evans damaged his car while racing Saturday.
43.2 seconds separate the Estonian in fourth place from Evans in third; Tänak lost nearly 20 seconds during Saturday's final stage after sliding off the asphalt on a slow corner, ERR's Sport portal reports.
The other Estonian taking part in the race, Georg Linnamäe, racing for Hyundai in the second-tier WRC2 category, lay in tenth place at the end of Saturday's stages, over five minutes behind the race leader.
Four more stages remain Sunday. The first began at 9.15 a.m. Estonian time, culminating in the final 16.37km Passauer stage from 1.15 p.m.
In stage one, veteran driver and eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier (France), placed fifth, emerged victor, closing the gap on Tänak.
Editor: Andrew Whyte