The second full day of Rallye Monte Carlo started with snow falling, which we had been waiting for! Boy, did it come down!
Craig Breen was first into stage nine, the first of the day. At the end, he referred himself as a snowplow! Sadly, Dani went off the road and so one of the teams that we expected to see standing on the podium, now will be nowhere near it. The stage was won by Andreas, but clearly the team could do with some luck. Seb made a great start, increasing the gap to former M-Sport teammate, Ott by a full minute who now found himself in second and Jari-Matti a further 21 or so seconds in third. Elfyn Evans in the number 2 Fiesta WRC, gapped Thierry by 20 seconds in their battle for seventh overall.
Stage 10 saw Ott close down 15 seconds to Seb, with the French champions advantage a little over a minute at the end of the 16km stage. The Toyota’s were running well, all three in the top four overall positions.
The following stage saw Esapekka Lappi pick up a puncture, so Kris Meeke picked up fourth place, despite sliding off into a field. Elfyn also picked up a position, moving ahead of Bryan Bouffier into sixth place. Ogier’s lead was now down to 48 seconds.
The next stage, number twelve, was won by Thierry, and this edged him a little closer to seventh placed Bouffier’s Fiesta, the gap just 12 seconds! Kris also was just hanging onto fourth place, with Lappi in the Yaris setting the third quickest time.
The last stage of the day was won by Thierry and Elfyn was just two seconds slower than the Belgian keeping the gap between them above 30 seconds. Kris lost fourth place to young Finn, Esapekka Lappi after the Irishman spun in a hairpin, losing a couple of seconds.
Heading into the last day tomorrow, Seb Ogier leads Ott by just a little over half a minute. Just four stages and a total of 64km. It’s certainly possible for something to happen!
Leaderboard at the end of Saturday
|1||S. Ogier||J. Ingrassia||Ford Fiesta WRC||3:30:30.9|
|2||O. Tänak||M. Järveoja||Toyota Yaris WRC||+33.5|
|3||J. M. Latvala||M. Anttila||Toyota Yaris WRC||+1:32.7|
|4||E. Lappi||J. Ferm||Toyota Yaris WRC||+4:38.5|
|5||K. Meeke||P. Nagle||Citroën C3 WRC||+4:40.1|
|6||E. Evans||D. Barritt||Ford Fiesta WRC||+5:00.2|
|7||T. Neuville||N. Gilsoul||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+5:33.6|
|8||B. Bouffier||X. Panseri||Ford Fiesta WRC||+5:43.4|
|9||C. Breen||S. Martin||Citroën C3 WRC||+8:49.0|