Today’s route for the 81st Rallye Monte-Carlo was competitively the shortest of this year’s four-day rally but nevertheless included 92 kilometres of competitive action as the crews headed from Valence to the glamour of Monaco for the overnight halt. Sébastien Loeb continues to head the leaderboard, the Frenchman winning two of the day’s three stages to pull out a one minute 47.4 second advantage over Sébastien Ogier. Russia’s Evgeny Novikov has moved into third position this evening.
Three stages lay in wait for the FIA World Rally Championship contenders today and conditions continued to be tricky with a mix of dry tarmac, ice and snow in each stage. It was Loeb who set the pace in the first stage and the multiple World Champion has continued to edge out his advantage over Ogier. However, his rival remains unperturbed as, with Loeb only competing in selected rounds of the WRC this season, Ogier does not see him as a title threat. Loeb rounded the day off with another fastest time as the crews head into tomorrow’s final day of competition.
Novikov has moved into third position, benefitting when Dani Sordo spun and lost valuable time, but it sets the scene for an incredible battle tomorrow as the duo are split by less than two seconds. Jari-Matti Latvala also moved one place up the leaderboard into fifth, the Finn setting one of his best stage times in the final stage while rival and former team-mate Mikko Hirvonen suffered with overheating brakes. Juho Hänninen is seventh ahead of Mads Østberg, who was fastest through the second stage.
Saturday’s final day of competitive action takes in five famous stages and 108.52 kilometres, with the Prize-Giving ceremony taking place at the Place du Palais Princier on Sunday morning.
Rallye Monte-Carlo – Unofficial Results after Day 3