Monte Carlo Rally WRC: Ogier edges ahead of Toyota team-mate Evans

Graham Keilloh
Ogier edges ahead of Toyota team-mate Evans

Sebastien Ogier has edged ahead of Toyota World Rally Championship team-mate Elfyn Evans to claim the Monte Carlo Rally lead after a strong Friday afternoon loop.

Six-time WRC Monte Carlo Rally winner Ogier closed in on Evans by topping the first two stages of the afternoon's three-stage loop, and then on the final stage of the day got ahead of Evans by 1.2 seconds to lead a Toyota 1-2 at the rally's halfway point.

Ogier on the afternoon's opening stage, the 12.4-mile Curbans - Venterol test, reduced his deficit to leader Evans from 9.7s to 3.3s and with it moved past Thierry Neuville's Hyundai into second place overall.

Evans, who had dominated the morning loop to lead, ended the afternoon's first stage with a damaged front-right wheel.

He said "it just sucked me into the ditch in one place," and added that it was "not a big deal but very marginal".

Ogier then trimmed another 0.6s from Evans' advantage on the loop's second stage, from Saint-Clement-sur-Durance to Freissinieres, reducing the gap to the sister Yaris to 2.7s.

This was despite Ogier feeling that he had selected too many super-soft tyres for the dry conditions.

Ogier then took the overall lead by being 3.9s quicker than Evans on the day's final stage, between Avancon and Notre-Dame-du-Laus, although this time both were slower than stage-winner Neuville.

Overnight leader Neuville had continued to slip from the Toyotas' pace in the first two stages of the afternoon, and commented that he needed to get on top of pacenote corrections from his gravel crew, with Dani Sordo stepping in for the unwell Bruno Thiry as Neuville's opener for this rally.

Ogier edges ahead of Toyota team-mate Evans

With his late improvement Neuville ended the day in third, 6.4s off Ogier.

Seven-time Monte Carlo Rally winner Sebastien Loeb remained in fourth place overall in his Hyundai i20 Coupe and fell away on the stopwatch during the afternoon, to end the day just over a minute off the leader.

M-Sport's Esapekka Lappi continued in a disgruntled fifth place, falling to just under two minutes back from Ogier by the end of the day.

He is followed 22s back in sixth overall by Toyota's WRC debutant Kalle Rovanpera, who continued to impress in his Yaris. His team-mate Takamoto Katsuta is next up, over five minutes off the top.

The first of the R5 'WRC3' runners are next, with Eric Camilli in his Citroen C3 continuing to lead the way in eighth place overall, from his WRC3 rival and fellow C3 runner Nicolas Ciamin in ninth and just under a minute shy of him.

Ole Christian Veiby in his Hyundai NG i20 lost his WRC2 lead after losing around two minutes with a puncture on the afternoon's first stage.

This let Mads Ostberg, who himself had lost nearly three minutes with a puncture on this morning's opening stage, reclaim the WRC2 lead in his Citroen with a 10.7s advantage over Veiby.

Ostberg then extended his class lead to 13.9s by the day's conclusion and sits in 10th place overall.

Leading positions after SS8

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1h43m31.5s
2 Elfyn Evans, S.Martin Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1.2s
3 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 6.4s
4 Sebastien Loeb, D.Elena Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m06.9s
5 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 1m57.2s
6 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 2m19.2s
7 Takamoto Katsuta, D.Barritt Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 5m18.7s
8 Eric Camilli, F-X.Buresi Eric Camilli Citroen 8m06.2s
9 Nicolas Ciamin, Y.Roche Nicolas Ciamin Citroen 9m04.0s
10 Mads Ostberg, T.Eriksen PH Sport Citroen 9m37.2s
11 Ole-Christian Veiby, J.Andersson Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 9m51.1s
12 Yoann Bonato, B.Boulloud Yoann Bonato Citroen 10m01.9s
13 Yohan Rossel, B.Fulcrand PH Sport Citroen 10m03.1s
14 Gregoire Munster, L.Louka Gregoire Munster Skoda 10m08.1s
15 Oliver Solberg, A.Johnston Oliver Solberg Volkswagen 10m53.3s
16 Teemu Suninen, J.Lehtinen M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 11m26.8s
17 Nikolay Gryazin, Y.Fedorov Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 11m29.4s
18 Adrien Fourmaux, R.Jamoul M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 12m12.5s
19 Rhys Yates, J.Morgan M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 13m36.9s
20 Deividas Jocius, M.Varza M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 13m49.5s
21 Olivier Burri, A.Levratti Olivier Burri Volkswagen 16m28.8s
22 Mauro Miele, L.Beltrame Mauro Miele Skoda 18m24.7s
23 Raphael Astier, F.Vauclare Raphael Astier FIAT 19m49.6s
24 Damien Oberti, T.Escartefigue Damien Oberti Peugeot 24m08.5s
25 Christophe Ganguet, E.Frison Christophe Ganguet Ford 24m14.4s
26 Sean Johnston, A.Kihurani Sean Johnston Peugeot 24m40.9s
27 'Pedro', E.Baldaccini Pedro Ford 25m03.4s
28 Eamonn Boland, M.J.Morrissey Eamonn Boland Ford 25m19.5s
29 Thibaut Poizot, M.Grand Thibaut Poizot Renault 25m38.0s
30 Alessandro Gino, D.Fappani Alessandro Gino Skoda 25m59.0s
31 Renaud Dolce, Q.Giroud Renaud Dolce Peugeot 27m06.4s
32 Nicolas Latil, R.Roche Nicolas Latil Volkswagen 27m55.1s
33 Ismael Vuistiner, F.Kummer Ismael Vuistiner Renault 28m00.0s
34 Jeremy Caradec, C.Amoros Jeremy Caradec Renault 28m01.7s
35 Bertrand Pierrat, A.Chevalier Bertrand Pierrat Volkswagen 29m36.5s
36 Victor Cartier, M.Margaillan Victor Cartier Ford 31m12.4s
37 Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio, M.Bosi Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio Skoda 31m37.7s
38 Boris Carminati, M.Lacruz Boris Carminati Renault 33m28.5s
39 Tony Ribaudo, J.Degrange Tony Ribaudo Peugeot 33m32.7s
40 Mickael Boisseranc, C.C.-Rolland Mickael Boisseranc Ford 33m42.4s
41 Henk Vossen, E.Berkhof Henk Vossen Ford 34m56.5s
42 Nikos Pavlidis, A.Harryman Nikolaos Pavlidis Peugeot 35m18.3s
43 Sacha Althaus, L.Zbinden Sacha Althaus Peugeot 36m01.1s
44 Jean-Pierre Gatti, R.Belleville Jean-Pierre Gatti Peugeot 36m46.4s
45 Alessandro Prosdocimo, M.L.Zanet Alessandro Prosdocimo Peugeot 37m14.3s
46 Lilian Vialle, M.Ghirardello Lilian Vialle Renault 37m21.2s
47 Zoltan Laszlo, T.Begala Martin Laszlo Ford 38m00.2s
48 Remy Rota, J.Escartefigue Remy Rota Peugeot 38m03.5s
49 Richard Desbordes, S.Desbordes Richard Desbordes Citroen 38m19.5s
50 Laure Jaussaud, J.T.-Escartefigue Laure Jaussaud Renault 38m32.4s
51 Pascal Eouzan, P.Eouzan Pascal Eouzan Peugeot 38m46.1s
52 Christopher Garcin, F.Nicoulau Christopher Garcin Ford 39m00.0s
53 Thibault Lefebvre, P.Barnier Thibault Lefebvre Peugeot 39m08.2s
54 Michel Ducreux, A.Raoult Michel Ducreux Peugeot 39m34.6s
55 Ermanno Dionisio, F.Grimaldi Ermanno Dionisio Dacia 39m49.6s
56 Enrico Brazzoli, M.Barone Enrico Brazzoli Skoda 40m50.9s
57 Martin Lemaire, P.Barboni Martin Lemaire Citroen 41m12.2s
58 Benjamin Duhamel, S.Szys Duhamel Benjamin Renault 41m22.7s
59 Baptiste Martin, J.Troin Baptiste Martin Renault 42m10.0s
60 Gilles Michellier, C.Richard Gilles Michellier Peugeot 42m20.7s
61 Carlo Covi, M.Lorigiola Carlo Covi Ford 42m33.9s
62 Miguel Diaz-Aboitiz, D.Sanjuan Miguel Diaz-Aboitiz Skoda 44m52.1s
63 Christophe Berard, C.Bernabo Christophe Berard Ford 45m08.4s
64 Rachele Somaschini, C.Lombardi Rachele Somaschini Citroen 45m27.1s
65 Domenico Ramoino, B.Banaudi Domenico Ramoino Renault 45m56.9s
66 Luc Caprasse, R.Herman Luc Caprasse Abarth 46m01.4s
67 Eric Filippi, F.Mazotti Eric Filippi Renault 46m13.8s
68 Bernard Jaussaud, C.Jaussaud Bernard Jaussaud Renault 47m03.6s
69 Alain Cusimano, E.Massin Alain Cusimano Renault 49m19.3s
70 Thierry Lartillier, C.Lemoine Thierry Lartillier Renault 49m35.4s
71 Marc Dessi, P.Dessi Marc Dessi Peugeot 51m08.2s
72 Jean-Marc Jerusalmi, G.Luthen Jean-Marc Jerusalmi Renault 56m30.8s
73 Julien Cartagena, A.Aubery Julien Cartagena Peugeot 1h00m35.9s

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