SS6: Tänak doubles up
Ott Tänak won Friday afternoon’s opening speed test at Rallye Monte-Carlo to repeat his pace-setting performance from this morning and eat into Sébastien Ogier’s lead.
Stage info: SS6
Vitrolles - Oze 2, 26.72km
A modified stage from 2017, featuring two-thirds of the Lardier-et-Valença - Faye test with a new start in Vitrolles. There are three passes en route - Col d’Espréaux (1157 metres), Col des Verniers (1042 metres) and Col de la Bachassette (940 metres), with a succession of winding and fast portions. It descends through the valley to the finish in Oze. Tyre choice in here will prove a brain teaser for drivers.
The Estonian was fastest through the 26.72km speed test from Vitrolles to Oze for a second time in a Toyota Yaris and cut the Frenchman’s advantage by 6.5sec to 33.9sec.
The long-awaited rain finally arrived to make conditions tricky, but it wasn’t enough to clean the asphalt of the mud dragged onto the surface by drivers cutting corners.
Dani Sordo remained in third place, but a cautious approach from the Spaniard in his Hyundai i20 cost more than 25sec and he is now over a minute adrift of Ogier. “Now it’s really raining and in this mix of tyres I had to take it a little bit careful,” he explained.
Toyota Yaris duo Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala are knocking on the door of Sordo’s third place. Both posted top six times and Lappi is only 1.6sec behind, with Latvala a further 8.6sec back. Kris Meeke completed the top six in a Citroën C3.
Third fastest time for Thierry Neuville moved the Belgian to within 12.5sec of eighth-placed Elfyn Evans as he continued his fightback up the leaderboard.
SS4/5: Ogier stretches lead
Mikkelsen out with alternator problems
SS3: Debut win for Tänak
More problems for Neuville
Thursday's Monte: Ogier overcomes early scare
Reigning champion takes an early lead at Rallye Monte-Carlo