Ogier leads Tanak on Monte Carlo Rally

The leader of the first round of the 2018 World Rally Chapionship Sebastien Ogier has had his lead on the Monte Carlo Rally reduced to 14.9 seconds after making a mistake on Friday afternoon, which then allowed Ott Tanak to close in. Tanak had already taken six seconds out of Ogier's advantage on the first stage of the loop, but then began to lose all that time to Ogier in heavy rain on the next stage.

Just when it looked like Ogier's lead would grow to over 45s, the Frenchman spun on the exit of a hairpin and went into a ditch while trying to recover. Spectators immediately jumped in to assist and Ogier was able to get back on the road having lost around half a minute.

That brought Tanak to within 19s of the lead, and the Toyota driver then outpaced his 2017 World Rally Championship team-mate by another 4s on the day's finale to get Ogier's cushion down to under 15s. Dani Sordo remains third in the leading Hyundai, inching clear of a closing Esapekka Lappi again when the rain intensified.

Sordo's advantage over Lappi is now 10.2s, while Jari-Matti Latvala has caught his countryman and Toyota team-mate and is now just 0.2s from taking fourth place. Kris Meeke and Bryan Bouffier remain a distant sixth and seventh, with the recovering Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville gaining on them. Neuville won one of the afternoon's three stages and closed to within 2.4s of Evans ahead.

Top Ten Positions Overall

1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT 2h07m15.4s
2 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 14.9s
3 Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 59.7s
4 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 1m09.9s
5 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 1m10.1s
6 Kris Meeke, P.Nagle Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 2m45.5s
7 Bryan Bouffier, X.Panseri M-Sport Ford WRT 3m34.6s
8 Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt M-Sport Ford WRT 4m01.7s
9 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 4m04.1s
10 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 5m06.6s

26th January, 2018