Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has moved into the lead on Rallye Monte Carlo, seizing the initiative in the first test this afternoon, when Bryan Bouffier spun.
Ogier began the second day in fourth place overall, 47.3 seconds off the lead and immediately this morning he closed that gap by 11.5 seconds. He then continued to apply the pressure on the second run through the long Vitrolles-Faye 2 (SS9), moving ahead when Bouffier made a mistake. The VW man was then quickest again in SS10 – taking his third win of the day and his fifth of the event. He now heads to the regroup with a 22.6 second cushion, with just one stage left before the event shifts to Monaco.
"So far it's a good day but there's still a long and difficult stage to go. I didn't push too much there (SS10) - I just tried to stay clean. It was a good stage," Ogier told the official WRC site.
Behind, Kris Meeke holds third in his Citroen DS3 WRC, over a minute off Ogier and Bouffier. Meeke had been locked in a tight fight with former F1 man Robert Kubica, but the Pole went off the road in SS9 and had to retire.
"I couldn't have dreamed of a podium on my first official outing with a factory team so I don't want to do anything silly now..." Meeke stated.
Mads Ostberg is next up and fourth, 49 seconds off the sister works Citroen DS3 WRC, while Welshman Elfyn Evans rounds out the top five.
Further back, Jari-Matti Latvala lies sixth, having lost time after clipping a kerb near the start of SS9 and then having to stop and change a puncture.
Mikko Hirvonen and Andreas Mikkelsen come in seventh and eighth, with Jaroslav Melicharek and Matteo Gamba rounding out the top ten. Mikkelsen had been ahead of Latvala and Hirvonen, but went off in SS10 and conceded over 4 minutes.
In WRC2, Yuriy Protasov remains top, now over 2 minutes up on Armin Kremer. Robert Barrable is third. Lorenzo Bertelli has dropped to fourth after a puncture near the start of SS9.
Day two now concludes with the 20.77 km Clumanc-Lambruisse test (SS11), which is due to start at 18.00 hours local time.
Rallye Monte Carlo: Overall standings after Stage 10 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 3h 00m 51.6s
2. Bryan Bouffier
M-Sport Ltd Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 22.6s
3. Kris Meeke
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +01m 30.2s
4. Mads Ostberg
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +02m 19.2s
5. Elfyn Evans
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +05m 55.8s
6. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +06m 08.3s
7. Mikko Hirvonen
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +06m 23.3s
8. Andreas Mikkelsen
Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +09m 46.9s
9. Jaroslav Melicharek
Slovakia WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +14m 30.9s
10. Matteo Gamba
Peugeot 207 S2000 +17m 57.6s
11. Yuriy Protasov
Ford Fiesta R5 +19m 22.1s
12. Armin Kremer
Ford Fiesta R5 +21m 02.8s
13. Sebastien Chardonnet
Citroen DS3 R3T +22m 00.5s
14. Robert Barrable
Ford Fiesta R5 +25m 05.5s
15. Lorenzo Bertelli
Ford Fiesta R5 +25m 58.8s
WRC2 standings after Stage 10 (Top 3):
1. Yuriy Protasov
Ford Fiesta R5 3h 20m 13.7s
2. Armin Kremer
Ford Fiesta R5 +01m 40.7s
3. Robert Barrable
Ford Fiesta R5 +05m 43.4s
WRC3 standings after Stage 10:
1. Quentin Gilbert
Citroen DS3 4h 15m 40.2s
SS1. Thierry Neuville
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC Went off the road
SS1. Francois Delecour
Ford Fiesta RS WRC Retired
SS2. Martin Prokop
Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC Mechanical
SS5. Dani Sordo
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC Mechanical
SS9. Robert Kubica
RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off the road
M denotes Manufacturer entry
all times unofficial