Poutot’s troubled day began when his Citroen DS3 went off the road into a tree in SS6, handing the advantage to the similar car of fellow Frenchman Chardonnet.
However, the gap between the two was less than a minute when Poutot’s rally came to a premature end when he slid into deep snow and was unable to regain the road.
Chardonnet is the only survivor in the category and just needs to reach Saturday night’s finish in Monaco to take maximum points.
Chardonnet lost time on SS5 when he briefly slid off the road, and suffered other minor issues. “When it got dark I turned on my lights and the light pod wasn’t properly adjusted, so it was hard to find the apexes. On the last stage I did not understand my notes at the beginning and I lost some time,” he said.