Ogier in front after day 2 of Monte

A fascinating battle continues to rage for the lead of Rally Monte Carlo between Sebastien Ogier and Kris Meeke, with the World Champion back in front at the overnight break. The pair had swapped the lead two through the three-stage loop with Ogier initially pulling away from the Citroen driver and establishing a five-second gap.

Meeke then replied by going 5.8s quicker than his Volkswagen rival, putting him back in the lead by just eight tenths of a second. Ogier was then fastest on the closing run from Les Costes to Chaillol, thus rebuilding a 9.5s lead - possibly down to his good local knowledge.

This has meant that Ogier and Meeke have pulled a long way clear of the rest of the pack, led by Jari-Matti Latvala in third and Mikkelsen in fourth, just ahead of Thierry Neuville in the best of the new Hyundais with the sister car of Dani Sordo in seventh behind Mads Ostberg. Both Hyundai drivers were unhappy with their tyre choices for the afternoon.

Ostberg's M-Sport team-mate Eric Camilli crashed out of eighth on ice on the first stage after service, elevating Citroen coming-man Stephane Lefebvre, who retained his place ahead of Bryan Bouffier even after a 20s time penalty for being late onto SS7 after set-up adjustment on a road section over-ran.

Ott Tanak completes the end of day top 10 despite rolling his DMACK Ford through a ditch.

To Ten Positions after SS8:

Pos ..... Driver ..... Team ..... Car ..... Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 1h29m06.1s
2 Kris Meeke Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroen 9.5s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 1m08.1s
4 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen 1m33.8s
5 Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 1m47.8s
6 Mads Ostberg M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 2m18.5s
7 Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 3m07.8s
8 Stephane Lefebvre Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroen 3m32.0s
9 Bryan Bouffier M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 4m18.6s
10 Ott Tanak DMACK World Rally Team Ford 5m25.8s

22nd January, 2016