"The change to the set-up of the car paid off for me today," Latvala commented. "Now I have finally found the trust I need to have in the car and am getting good feedback from my Polo R WRC, which had been missing previously. As I have never really done particularly well at the 'Monte' in the past, my goal was, and remains, to reach the end of the rally safely. Only that way can we gain more experience, score points, and achieve a positive result at this rally. It would not be in our interest to lose patience. I am happy with the way the day panned out for us."
"The first two stages didn't go too badly, but Sisteron was an ordeal," Hirvonen admitted. "I had no pace and no confidence with the mix of tyres. I must at least try to get past Jari-Matti again tomorrow."
Of the rest, Juho Hanninen, Mads Ostberg and Bryan Bouffier lie seventh, eighth and ninth, with Martin Prokop set to pick up the final drivers' point in tenth.
"We made some more changes to the car in service and that worked a lot better for me this afternoon. We had a stage win [SS12] which was really good – it felt like everything just came together for us on that stage. To be honest I think we just calmed down and started again – that's where the confidence has come from," Ostberg explained.
"We had a lot of discussions with our engineer last night so we knew what to do and understood what was necessary to go faster. Instantly it worked, and that was a good thing for sure. I think we had a really good run on the last stage as well but we were on the wrong tyres. I have certainly learnt a lot more about driving on tarmac with snow tyres and I think we are progressing well in all areas. Hopefully we can continue to improve tomorrow."
In WRC2, Sepp Weigand remains out front and in P11 overall, with WRC3 class leader, Sebastien Chardonnet 17th. Chardonnet is the only remaining runner in WRC3, after his only rival retired on Thursday.
Rallye Monte Carlo now concludes on Saturday with five stages on the bill based near Monaco. The total day four competitive distance is 108.52km.
SS14, Moulinet-La Bollene Vesubie 1, kicks off the final leg, starting at 15.08 hours local time [14.08 hours UK time].
Rallye Monte Carlo: Overall standings after Stage 13 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Loeb
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 4h 16m 41.9s
2. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +1m 47.4s
3. Evgeny Novikov
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3m 19.9s
4. Dani Sordo
Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +3m 21.6s
5. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +4m 04.9s
6. Mikko Hirvonen
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +4m 19.1s
7. Juho Hanninen
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5m 15.5s
8. Mads Ostberg
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m 18.2s
9. Bryan Bouffier
Citroen DS3 WRC +8m 20.7s
10. Martin Prokop
Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +18m 48.8s
11. Sepp Weigand
Skoda Fabia S2000 +24m 39.2s
12. Olivier Burri
Peugeot 207 S2000 +28m 13.4s
13. Michal Kosciousko
Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC +29m 22.4s
14. Armin Kremer
Subaru Impreza +29m 27.5
17. Sebastien Chardonnet
Citroen DS3 R3T +37m 55.5s
WRC2 standings after Stage 13 (Top 3):
1. Sepp Weigand
Skoda Fabia S2000 4h 41m 21.1s
2. Armin Kremer
Subaru Impreza +4m 48.3s
3. Yuriy Protasov
Subaru Impreza +7m 34.4s
WRC3 standings after Stage 13:
1. Sebastien Chardonnet
Citroen DS3 R3T 4h 54m 37.4s
SS4. Thierry Neuville
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off
SS9. Renaud Poutot
Citroen DS3 R3T Mechanical
SS10. Julien Marin
Ford Fiesta RS WRC Accident
all times unofficial