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Sebastien Ogier’s Monte Carlo Rally lead is down to 14.9 seconds after a mistake on Friday afternoon allowed Ott Tanak to close in.
Tanak had already taken six seconds out of Ogier’s advantage on the loop’s first stage, but then began to lose all that time and more to Ogier in heavy rain on the next stage.
Just when it looked like his lead would grow to over 45s, Ogier 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 two of the afternoon’s three stages and closed to within 2.4s of Evans ahead.
|1||Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford||2h07m15.4s|
|2||Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||14.9s|
|3||Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hyundai||59.7s|
|4||Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||1m09.9s|
|5||Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||1m10.1s|
|6||Kris Meeke, P.Nagle||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Citroen||2m45.5s|
|7||Bryan Bouffier, X.Panseri||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford||3m34.6s|
|8||Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford||4m01.7s|
|9||Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hyundai||4m04.1s|
|10||Craig Breen, S.Martin||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Citroen||5m06.6s|