Neuville leads but Ogier back in Second

After the first full day of the Monte Carlo Rally Thierry Neuville still leads but Sebastien Ogier is back up to second after he slid off the road during the morning stages although he recovered to third by the midday service, he then lost more time at the start of the afternoon as he struggled with slushy conditions on the slushy stages his unfamiliar M-Sport Ford but, he won the day's final two stages.
His pace allowed him to pass team-mate Ott Tanak into second, and reduced his deficit to Neuville's Hyundai from 1m12s to 45s. Neuville lost 19s to Ogier on the 24-mile SS7 alone, driving too cautious on roads that featured less ice and snow than he had expected.
He was on course to regain a little time on the final stage before stalling at a hairpin and then briefly driving without boost, having not followed the correct engine reset procedure. Tanak is still within 0.3s of Ogier in third place, and content with his first day back in M-Sport's top team.
Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala spun on the last stage without losing fourth place and in his wake, Dani Sordo temporarily lost fifth to Craig Breen in the mixed conditions of SS7 before retaking the place when Breen spent a while off the road on SS8.
Andreas Mikkelsen continues to dominate WRC2 in seventh overall, while Elfyn Evans is eighth and struggling for grip on DMACK's ice tyre.

20th January, 2017