Monte Carlo WRC: Ogier pulls clear despite wheel damage

Sebastien Ogier’s Monte Carlo Rally lead ballooned to more than a minute after the first two Saturday stages, despite him damaging a wheel.

Monte Carlo WRC: Ogier pulls clear despite wheel damage
Sébastien Ogier, M-Sport Ford
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport Ford
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport Ford
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport Ford
Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

The reigning world champion started the day 14.9s clear but smashed his main rival Ott Tanak on a devilishly tricky 18-mile opening stage topped by Andreas Mikkelsen.

Ogier broke part of the left-rear wheel rim on his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC but still completed SS9 almost a minute faster than his 2017 World Rally Championship teammate.

Tanak was quickest on the second, shorter morning stage but complained about a damper problem despite clawing back 15.5s against a conservative Ogier, whose lead stands at 1m03.4s.

Jari-Matti Latvala jumped two spots in one stage to end the morning third overall.

The Toyota driver was just 0.2s behind teammate Esapekka Lappi after Friday’s running and was on course to overhaul his fellow Finn for fourth when it emerged that third-placed Dani Sordo had stopped on the stage.

Latvala took full advantage, beating Lappi by more than half a minute on the stage to vault into a clear third as Sordo’s podium challenge came to an end with his Hyundai in a ditch.

That means all three i20 WRCs have had their season openers ruined.

Sordo’s woe put Thierry Neuville up to eighth as he recovers from a torrid Friday, while Mikkelsen had dropped out of contention on Friday with an alternator problem.

He returned as a Rally2 runner and benefitted from a favourable road position, running after the other WRC drivers, to top SS9 despite suffering “three spins in a straightline". He then set the second-best time on SS10.

Kris Meeke is fifth but had his advantage over Bryan Bouffier trimmed to just over half a minute after a tricky couple of stages.

Comfortable WRC2 leader Jan Kopecky is now into the top 10 thanks to Sordo’s off.

shares
comments
Monte Carlo WRC: Tanak closes in as Ogier slips up
Previous article

Monte Carlo WRC: Tanak closes in as Ogier slips up

Next article

Monte Carlo WRC: Tanak cuts into Ogier's lead

Monte Carlo WRC: Tanak cuts into Ogier's lead
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021