Saturday | 24 Jan 2015

SS10: Ogier calm after time loss

Sébastien Ogier handed away a huge part of his Rallye Monte-Carlo lead after an ultra-cautious drive through the longest stage of the event on Saturday morning.

Stage info: SS10

Lardier et Valença - Faye, 51.70km
The longest stage of the rally has a 5.3km section added to the version used last year. It’s a mix of new asphalt and an older surface and contains many long, fast corners. It climbs two cols, Espréaux and Faye, with many technical sections to challenge drivers.

However, the Volkswagen Polo R driver was unconcerned after team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala sliced his advantage by 40.5sec during the marathon test, and he returned to lunchtime service in Gap with a lead of 64.9sec.

“We were very safe with tyre choice. I was very slow on every icy part. I have nothing to risk by trying to drive quickly,” said Ogier.

Latvala was sixth fastest and could have clawed back even more time. “I spun at the beginning and lost about 15sec. There was a lot of gravel on the road and the grip changed. I was afraid I would lose a minute,” said the Finn.

Ott Tänak’s tenure of fourth ended when the Estonian slid into a ditch at a gravel-covered corner after 38.8km. Fans manhandled his Ford Fiesta RS back onto the road but he dropped 18min and plunged down the order.

That allowed Mads Østberg to climb to fourth in Citroen’s DS 3, 38.7sec behind the third Polo R of Andreas Mikkelsen. Elfyn Evans and Dani Sordo completed the top six, the Spaniard climbing ahead of team-mate Thierry Neuville.

Robert Kubica (pictured above) won the stage with a stunning performance. He was 33.4sec faster than Kris Meeke and 41.2sec quicker than Sébastien Loeb in third.

Sébastien Chardonnet was caught out by the ice and crashed his DS 3 into a wall after 15.3km. Spectators lifted his car back onto the road but the Frenchman lost more than 30 minutes.

Lorenzo Bertelli also slipped off in his Fiesta RS. Although his car was undamaged, there was nobody to help him regain the road and he retired.

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