Kris Meeke has conceded that he doesn't know how he dropped more than ten seconds on the final stage of the day to Sebastien Ogier, but he says he is happy to have kept his rival under pressure on the second leg of the Monte Carlo Rally.
The Abu Dhabi Racing Citroen driver traded fastest stage times with Ogier throughout the day, twice nosing in front of his French rival, only to lose 10.3secs on the second run through Les Costes – Chaillol.
Leaving him 9.5secs adrift on the overall leaderboard – the largest the gap has been since the event started -, Meeke admits to be being somewhat perplexed as to the reason for the gulf, but is otherwise feeling strong and confident in the DS3 WRC.
“I'm pleased with today, I feel good in the car and it's really nice to be challenging for the lead. There were just a few seconds between me and Sébastien, but he made the difference on a few kilometres between Les Costes and Chaillol. As far as I'm concerned, I was happy with my driving; I really don't know how he made up the time!
Despite this, Meeke says it will be day three's tests through the mountains that will ultimately decide the outcome of the rally.
“In any case, it's still tight and the fight is by no means over. Tomorrow, we'll have to deal with the long 51km stage and the one that includes a section on the Ancelle ski slopes. Tyre choice will be all about getting the right compromise, and it could swing the race one way or another. Then there'll be the legendary Sisteron-Thoard stage to tackle before we reach Monaco. It really will be the biggest day of the rally!”