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Rallye Monte-Carlo: Neuville stretches lead over Ogier

Thierry Neuville out paces Sebastien Ogier over the first loop of stages on leg three of the Rallye Monte Carlo to increase his overall lead
Thierry Neuville has increased his lead over Sebastien Ogier in the Rallye Monte Carlo to more than a minute following the first loop of stages on leg three.

The Belgian has steadily increased his leading margin over the course of the event, even if he started the day under a renewed threat from Ogier as the Frenchman climbed to second with a strong run of stages towards the end of day two.

However, Hyundai's Neuville was faster than Ogier in both SS9 and SS10 to increase his advantage over the M-Sport Ford driver from 45secs to 1m 00.7s with only three more stages remaining today.

Behind Ogier, his team-mate Ott Tanak lost ground in the fight for second after suffering gearshift issues but remains only 12secs adrift of the position and well placed for a podium with fourth place man Jari-Matti Latvala 1m 38secs further behind in the new Toyota Yaris.

Dani Sordo and Craig Breen continue to fight over fifth place, the latter edging ahead through SS9 only to drop back behind in SS10 after a communication issue with his pace notes meant he had to take caution in the icier final section.

Andreas Mikkelsen continues to dominate the WRC2 in his Skoda Fabia, though he is close to being overhauled for seventh overall by a charging Elfyn Evans. The Welshman – who lost five minutes with issues at the start of leg two - was third quickest through SS9 before topping the timesheets in SS10 in the DMACK Ford Fiesta, putting him 27secs adrift of the former VW works driver.

Having crashed out of the rally on leg two, Kris Meeke is out again after stopping with technical issues in the Citroen C3 in SS10, while Juho Hanninen is underway again and setting competitive times.



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