Waterford's Craig Breen lies in sixth overall in his Citroen DS3 after Special Stage Eight at the end of day two of the Monte Carlo Rally - the opening round of the World Rally Championship.
Breen survived two spins and a close call under braking for hairpins.
Having been as high as second at one point, Dungannon's Kris Meeke retired from day two when he broke a suspension in his Citroen C3 on stage four.
Meeke can re-enter the rally with a 10 minute penalty tomorrow under rally rules.
Thierry Neuville leads the way, but defending champion Sebastien Ogier made a late recovery up into second as an investigation continues into the death of a spectator following a crash on Thursday's opening stage.
Hyundai Motorsport withdrew Hayden Paddon's car after the i20 Coupe had rolled over and blocked the road towards the end of the 21.25 kilometre Entrevaux-Ubraye leg, which was halted as a result.
Rally organisers later confirmed a spectator had died after being taken to hospital in Nice, with the Automobile Club de Monaco set to "provide assistance to the authorities" as the investigations continue.
When the event resumed on Friday, Belgian Neuville made a positive start as the Hyundai driver claimed three stages in tricky conditions which included snow and sheet ice.
Ogier, now racing the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC, lost ground as he slid off on a right-hand hairpin on the opening speed test of 24.63km from Agnieres-en-Devoluy to Le Motty to sit ninth.
However, the Frenchman made up time to climb into third by midday service gap, and then took Friday's closing two stages to further eat into Neuville's advantage and end some 45.1 seconds off the lead.
Ford team-mate Ott Tanak is in third, but only by 0.3 seconds, heading into Saturday's five stages which begin from Lardier-et-Valenca to Oze and end with Bayons to Breziers.
Britain's Kris Meeke was forced out on Special Stage Four after his Citroen C3 skidded on ice and hit a bank, which caused a broken front suspension.
Welshman Elfyn Evans is back in eighth, the Ford driver some eight minutes and 12.1 seconds off the pace.