Sebastian Loeb has clawed back almost seven seconds on today's opening special stage of the Rally of New Zealand at Port Waikato.
The Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen still leads but finished 10th.
Henning Solberg won the stage ahead of the championship leader Loeb of France by just over 4 seconds.
Hirvonen was almost 12 seconds back - so he now leads Loeb by 20.3 seconds.
Danny Sordo has dropped from third to fourth, swapping places with fellow Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala.