Published on January 18th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
World Rally 2014, Monte Carlo, Ogier Leads
Sebastien Ogier continued his fight back up the leaderboard by setting the fastest time on SS6, a big battle was developing behind him for second place. Robert Kubica held the place going into the stage but he struggled in the sodden conditions and dropped a surprising 21.2s at the finish.
That presented Kris Meeke with an opportunity to overtake his Ford-driving rival and claim the place at the end of the leg. Meeke didn’t let the chance pass. By emerging only 17.7s slower than Ogier, he was able to steal second place by just 0.7s.
Retiring on a stage is hard to take but the Hyundai Shell team had no choice. Driver Dani Sordo has to retire before SS5. The Spaniard was hoping to get even closer to second-place Kris Meeke on the stage but his Hyundai i20 WRC developed an electrical fault on the road section and ground to a halt. He and Marc Marti tried desperately to get their car moving again but they failed. Their rally was over.
Sebastien Ogier gave his local fans a little bit of hope with a fastest time on SS5. He opted to use two winter tyres and two super-soft slicks on his VW Polo R WRC and it was a combination that worked in the muddy conditions that he encountered. He was 6.5s faster than his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala to leap up to fourth place overall.
Fortunes on SS3 depended on what tyres you had in the boot of your car. Only a handful of drivers opted to take a brace of snow tyres on this morning’s loop of stages – and one of them was Bryan Bouffier. By fitting one snow tyre on the front and one on the rear of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, he was able to take a massive chunk of time out of his closest rivals and leap into the overall lead by 41.5s.
Dani Sordo, Elfyn Evans and Kris Meeke also benefited from having snow tyres on board for SS3. Meeke jumped into second place overall and Sordo took third place. Robert Kubica, the rally leader going into the stage, didn’t have snow tyres and promptly dropped to fourth place.