While Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo maintained their one-two positions at the head of the leaderboard, the battle for sixth raged on between Matthew Wilson and the chasing Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen began the day sixth, 19sec ahead of Wilson, but two mistakes on the opening stage (15) allowed the Stobart Ford driver to steal the position.
Wilson was quicker again on SS16 but on Dhrontal Raikkonen bit back, completing 1.6sec quicker to narrow the gap to 5.3sec with just one vineyard stage remaining.
Click: wrc.com/News SS17
Sebastien Loeb will take a 50 second lead into the final stage of Rallye Deutschland after clearing the penultimate test in another stage winning time.
With only the Circus Maximus Super Special still to run, just 4.3 kilometres stand between the French driver and his eighth victory on this rally.
The rest of the positions in the top five look settled, while a good defensive drive from Brit Mathew Wilson looks to have ended Raikkonen chances of claiming back sixth. Wilson will take a 5.6sec advantage into the final test.
Click: wrc.com/News SS18