Sebastien Loeb continues to lead Rallye Monte Carlo by over a minute following Thursday morning's opening loop of three stages.
Loeb started the second day with a commanding 1 minute 20.3 second advantage in his Citroen
DS3 WRC car, and despite having to run first on the road, something that particularly hindered him in SS6, the Frenchman pretty much maintained that cushion and he now heads back to service with the gap trimmed by just 2.4 seconds.
Sebastien Ogier meanwhile continues to hold second, and while he was quicker than his fellow countryman in SS5 and SS7, giving Volkswagen another stage win in the first test of the day, a spin in SS6 cost him precious seconds.
Behind, Dani Sordo has re-taken third position, with Citroen
team-mate Mikko Hirvonen
struggling and dropping down to fifth.
Evgeny Novikov shined for the Qatar M-Sport WRT and having been second quickest in SS5, was fastest in both SS6 and SS7, as he made the most of his new studded tyres to move up to P4 overall.
Further back, Jari-Matti Latvala
picked up a puncture in Labatie d'Andaure-Lalouvesc 1 when he clipped a roadside pole. However the Finn was back on it in SS6, when he was fourth, and he ended the loop with the fifth best time in SS7.
Juho Hanninen and Bryan Bouffier hold positions seven and eight, ahead of Mads Ostberg
and Martin Prokop. Ostberg would have been higher up the leaderboard had he not picked up a 1 minute 50 second penalty last night when he was late into the overnight service due to an electrical problem on the road section.
In WRC2, Sepp Weigand remains in P1, over 3.5 minutes up on Armin Kremer, while in WRC3, where only two cars are entered, Sebastien Chardonnet has moved to the fore and ahead of Renaud Poutot.
The action now continues this afternoon with a repeat-run through this morning's three tests.
SS8, Labatie d'Andaure-Lalouvesc 2, is due to start at 14.50 hours local time [13.50 hours British time].Rallye Monte Carlo: Overall standings after Stage 7 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Loeb
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 2h 29m 49.4s
2. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +1m 17.9s
3. Dani Sordo
Abu Dhabi Citroen
Total WRT DS3 WRC +2m 18.0s
4. Evgeny Novikov
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 35.6s
5. Mikko Hirvonen
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +2m 29.7s
6. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +2m 54.8s
7. Juho Hanninen
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3m 20.5s
8. Bryan Bouffier
Citroen DS3 WRC +4m 17.0s
9. Mads Ostberg
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m 35.4s
10. Martin Prokop
Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10m 04.2sOthers
11. Julien Marin
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10m 41.4s
12. Sepp Weigand
Skoda Fabia S2000 +13m 54.7s
13. Olivier Burri
Peugeot 207 S2000 +15m 25.4s
14. Armin Kremer
Subaru Impreza +17m 41.7
16. Michal Kosciousko
Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC +19m 27.3s
TWRC2 standings after Stage 7 (Top 3):
1. Sepp Weigand
Skoda Fabia S2000 2h 43m 44.1s
2. Armin Kremer
Subaru Impreza +3m 47.0s
3. Yuriy Protasov
Subaru Impreza +5m 35.0s
WRC2WRC3 standings after Stage 7:
1. Sebastien Chardonnet
Citroen DS3 R3T 2h 53m 26.5s
2. Renaud Poutot
Citroen DS3 R3T +0m 40.2s
SS4. Thierry Neuville
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off
Tall times unofficial