OGIER CONSOLIDATES LEAD ON THE MONTE | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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OGIER CONSOLIDATES LEAD ON THE MONTE

23.01.16.

Sébastien Ogier blitzed the opposition in Saturday’s opening stage of Rallye Monte-Carlo to double his lead over Britain’s Kris Meeke. The Lardier-et-Valença – Faye stage was a sharp wake-up call for the crews early this morning, the 51.55 kilometre test the longest of the rally and part of a loop of two stages with differing road conditions. As such, tyre choice was critical, as the long stage was largely dry with some ice whereas the second was snow-filled on the narrow and winding descent to the finish line.

Ogier was 10.6 seconds faster than Meeke in the opener and while the top three maintained position, it was Mikkelsen on a different tyre strategy who lost out, the Norwegian dropping more than a minute on studded tyres. He fell from fourth to fifth. He nevertheless benefitted in the following stage, clawing back 43.9 seconds as his rivals struggled on the snowy descent on their mix of slick and studded tyres. He retook fourth from Thierry Neuville who is enjoying a far better day after set-up changes on the Hyundai i20 WRC. Mads Østberg maintains his sixth position and has a comfortable margin over Stephane Lefebvre. Despite having to be pushed out of a hairpin, Bryan Bouffier climbed from ninth to eighth, also benefitting when Dani Sordo spun and damaged the suspension in the first stage and was then forced to use the manual gearshift in the second. He drops to 10th behind Ott Tanak.

In the FIA WRC 2 Championship, Elfyn Evans lost time in the first stage stopping to change a puncture, but he regained his lead in the second stage after setting the seventh fastest time overall in his R5 Fiesta. He now has 49.7 seconds in hand to Armin Kremer. Ole Christian Veiby continues to head WRC 3, the Norwegian more than three minutes ahead of his nearest rival, Jordan Berfa.

Rallye Monte-Carlo – Unofficial Results after Section 4

1.   Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2hr 12min 39.1sec

2.   Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle

DS3 WRC

2hr 13min 09.3sec

3.   Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2hr 14min 22.6sec

4.   Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger Synneväg

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2hr 14min 42.5sec

5.   Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 WRC

2hr 15min 14.2sec

6.   Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

2hr 16min 39.1sec

7.   Stephane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau

DS3 WRC

2hr 19min 01.5sec

8.   Bryan Bouffier/Victor Bellotto

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

2hr 19min 26.2sec

9.   Ott Tanak/Raigo Molder

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

2hr 21min 03.9sec

10. Dani Sordo/Marc Marti

Hyundai i20 WRC

2hr 22min 47.2sec