The 53 year old has won two Senior Major Championships this season and has an advantage of more than Ã¢Â‚Â¬80,000 at the top of the European Senior Tour Order of Merit, and could now continue the fairytale at Terre Blanche Resort and Golf Club in Provence.
An eagle, four birdies and a bogey ensured Chapman goes into Sunday's final round one shot in front of Chris Williams, who signed for a two under par 70, and two ahead of compatriots Bob Cameron and Paul Wesselingh and Australian Peter Fowler, the reigning Senior Tour Number One.
"I played very well today and I'm almost back to how I felt in the summer," said the US Senior Open and US Senior PGA Champion. "It's really pleasing. I went off the boil a bit after playing in the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. It messed me up a bit. There was lots of wind and the course was 7,700 yards, which for a senior is so long.
"I felt as though I'd lost my rhythm and I didn't play particularly well in America the following week, but I saw my coach Gavin Christie when I got back and then again at Woburn three weeks ago, and it seems like it's just beginning to click again.
Williams had birdies at the first, fourth and 11th against a bogey at the par five sixth, and was delighted to be in contention heading into the final round at Terre Blanche, which is in the European Tour Properties portfolio.
"It was a steady day," said the 53 year old, who is chasing his second Senior Tour title. "The greens were quite difficult and I didn't knock too many putts in, but when it counted at certain moments, I holed one or two good ones for par.
"I only had one bogey and other than that it was very solid. I hit a lot more fairways, which made the round a lot easier. It's a long walk round that course and quite tiring, but I'm only one behind a two-time Senior Major winner, so I must be doing something right.
Fowler, chasing his first win of the season after winning twice and leading the money list in 2011, is just two behind Chapman heading into tomorrow's final round.
Mike Harwood, three shots further back and tied for 13th, David Merriman 16th, Terry Price 30th and Graham Banister 38th are the next best of the Australians.