Monte Carlo WRC: Tanak closes in as Ogier slips up

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.

Monte Carlo WRC: Tanak closes in as Ogier slips up
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport Ford
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport Ford
Bryan Bouffier, Xavier Panseri, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport Ford
Dani Sordo, Carlos del Barrio, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Ott Tanak, Toyota Gazoo Racing

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 teammate 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 teammate 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.

Standings after SS8:

 Pos. Driver Car Time/Gap
Sebastien Ogier Ford 2:07'15.4
Ott Tanak Toyota 14.9
Dani Sordo Hyundai 59.7
Esapekka Lappi Toyota 1'09.9
Jari-Matti Latvala Toyota 1'10.1
Kris Meeke Citroen 2'45.5
Bryan Bouffier Ford 3'34.6
Elfyn Evans Ford 4'01.7
Thierry Neuville Hyundai 4'04.1
10  Craig Breen Citroen 5'06.6
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Monte Carlo WRC: Ogier increases lead, Mikkelsen retires

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