Top 15 classification after SS8 at Rallye Monte-Carlo

Sebastien Ogier has a slender two-second lead on Thierry Neuville at the halfway stage at Rallye Monte-Carlo.

With five consecutive wins at Rallye Monte-Carlo, Ogier remains heavy favourite despite it being his first outing since returning to Citroen over the winter. After 2018 WRC title rivals Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville took stints leading the opening round of the new campaign, Ogier started his charge to the front by sharing the stage victory with Jari-Matti Latvala on SS6.

Ogier then stormed into the lead by 14 seconds from Neuville on SS7 before seeing his advantage trimmed down to two seconds when the Hyundai driver struck back with victory on SS8.

Daytona 24 Hrs

The pair have pulled clear of the chasing pack after Tanak suffered a puncture on SS7 for Toyota, while Sebastien Loeb blamed tyre strategy for slipping from third to fifth on Friday’s final stage.

As a result, Andreas Mikkelsen has moved up to third place for Hyundai, 1m 15.7s off teammate Neuville, with Latvala just over seven seconds back in fourth place as the lead Toyota.

Loeb was narrowly shifted into fifth place 0.8s behind Latvala, while Elfyn Evans continues to lead M-Sport Ford charge in a distant sixth place.

Tanak recovered from his puncture to hold on to seventh place ahead of new Toyota teammate Kris Meeke who stopped on SS7 with a broken rim.

Gus Greensmith leads WRC2 for M-Sport Ford in ninth place overall with a 6.6s lead on Yoann Bonato for Citroen who rounds out the top ten.

Pontus Tidemand saw his M-Sport Ford debut cut short by a broken wishbone on SS6, while Esapekka Lappi had his own Citroen debut ended prematurely on the same stage when he sustained a broken wishbone and driveshaft.