Rallye Monte Carlo: Ogier wins two more stages

Sebastien Ogier completes SS13 with a 1min 01.2 sec lead over Bryan Bouffier; Kris Meeke rounds out the top three followed by Mads Ostberg and Jari-Matti Latvala...
Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier took two more stage wins this afternoon as he closed in on victory on Rallye Monte Carlo, the 2014 WRC season opener.

Ogier went into the third and final day with a 51.1 second advantage, and while conditions remained treacherous – with drivers reporting lots of slush on SS12 and lots of standing water on the following test – the Frenchman was again the class of the field.

Indeed he edged out team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala by 0.3 seconds to win the first run through the 23.40 km La Bollene Vesubie test (SS12), before beating Kris Meeke by 3.5 seconds to top the pack in Sospel-Breil-sur-Roya (SS13). The defending WRC champion now heads back to service in Monaco with his cushion up to 1 minute 1.2 seconds.

“I'm happy with it,” Ogier said after SS12. “I did not take any risks on the Col, I slowed down on the snow but could not have been slower! Nonetheless, driving with studs on tarmac is fun. Sliding - it's good for the show.”

"We then had a good run in SS13," he continued. "There was a lot of water on the road. We have validated the pace-notes just in case we want to try to get a few more points in the Power Stage. The next stages will be even more difficult. The night in Turini is always a big moment. I'm looking forward to it!”

M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC runner Bryan Bouffier meanwhile continues to hold second. He was third in SS12 – just 0.8 seconds off Ogier, but lost a bit more time in SS13, 9.3 seconds, and was only fifth fastest after sliding wide and clipping the left rear wheel.

"If we manage to finish like this I think it would be perfect," said Bouffier. "The Turini was really great for spectators. OK, it's maybe not as easy for us to find a good feeling in conditions like that, but I think those watching had a really good feeling!

"We made a small mistake on the last stage – I was surprised by the amount of water going into one corner, slid wide and hit something – but it wasn't a big drama. Now, we just need to stay focussed and concentrated for the final loop. It might not seem like many kilometres, but on these fast stages with challenging conditions there is still a long way to go."

Kris Meeke completes the provisional podium in his Citroen DS3 WRC, still around 45 seconds adrift of P2, with team-mate, Mads Ostberg still fourth, although he lost time with a puncture 5-6 kilometres from the end of SS12.

Related Pictures

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Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo R, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo R, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo R, Volkswagen Motorsport

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