WRC Monte Carlo: Sebastien Ogier increases lead into final stages – WRC


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World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier is just two stages away from kicking off his bid for a sixth-straight title with victory on the Monte Carlo Rally.

The M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC driver had his lead trimmed to just over half a minute at the end of Saturday’s running, but it is back out to 46.2s after a fine pair of stages on Sunday morning.

Ogier was quickest of anyone through SS14 to add 11.5s to his advantage over Ott Tanak, and beat the Toyota driver again despite only going seventh-fastest on SS15.

Tanak was slowest of anyone through SS15, but his second place is not under threat as team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala is just under two minutes back in third.

The Toyota Yaris drivers still run 2-3-4 and Esapekka Lappi has edged clear of Kris Meeke’s Citroen.

Lappi started the day 1.6s ahead of Meeke but added 12s to that on SS14 and was just over half a second slower on the next stage to have a decent cushion heading into the final two runs.

Elfyn Evans’ hold on sixth place looks less secure as Thierry Neuville continues to close in.

Neuville was second to Ogier on SS14 then won SS15, his fourth stage triumph of the rally.

The Hyundai driver is now just 8.7s behind Ogier’s M-Sport team-mate.

Bryan Bouffier suffered a small spin on SS14 but remains a lonely eighth, while Craig Breen’s still ninth in his Citroen, several minutes ahead of WRC2 leader Jan Kopecky.

Leading positions after SS15

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 3h55m08.1s
2 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 46.2s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m51.7s
4 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 4m39.9s
5 Kris Meeke, P.Nagle Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 4m52.9s
6 Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 5m15.7s
7 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 5m24.4s
8 Bryan Bouffier, X.Panseri M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 6m06.8s
9 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 9m15.5s
10 Jan Kopecky, P.Dresler Skoda Motorsport II Skoda 15m35.3s

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