Ogier Leads Monte Carlo Rally

Sebastien Ogier now leads the Monte Carlo Rally after Thierry Neuville damaged his suspension on Saturday's final stage after protecting a 51-second cushion over Ogier, but had to park his Hyundai with right rear suspension damage after running wide on a corner exit just past SS13's halfway point.

Ogier then moved into first place, and will start Sunday with a 47s advantage over team-mate Ott Tanak in an M-Sport Ford one-two. Neuville effected makeshift repairs on the stage to limp to the finish having lost 32 minutes. Provided he can get the car to service, 30 miles away, Neuville will resume in 15th place overall on Sunday and still eligible to try to score on the powerstage.

Neuville's drama put Toyota on course for a podium on its return to the World Rally Championship after an 18-year absence, with Jari-Matti Latvala now running third. Latvala's cushion to those behind grew on Saturday afternoon as well, as a sudden power steering failure sent the second Hyundai of Dani Sordo off the road and left him with an "undriveable" car thereafter.

That dropped Sordo behind Craig Breen, whose previous-generation Citroen has emerged in an unlikely fourth place. Elfyn Evans was fastest on the Bayons-Breziers stage, meaning he and DMACK took three of the five stage wins on Saturday. He now runs sixth. Kris Meeke was forced to retire from the rally again after resuming under WRC regulations following a collision with a non-competing car on a road section.

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport World Rally Team 3h26m10.7s
2 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja M-Sport World Rally Team 47.1s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC 2m20.6s
4 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 3m47.3s
5 Dani Sordo, M.Marti Hyundai Motorsport 4m03.2s
6 Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt M-Sport World Rally Team 7m27.2s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Skoda Motorsport 9m15.2s
8 Jan Kopecky, P.Dresler Skoda Motorsport 12m34.4s
9 Bryan Bouffier, D.Giraudet Gemini Clinic Rally Team 14m41.9s
10 Pontus Tidemand, J.Andersson Skoda Motorsport II 14m59.3s

21st January, 2017