Monte-Carlo - SS6-7: Meeke snatches back Monte lead
Ulsterman heads Ogier by eight-tenths of a second
Kris Meeke regained the Rallye Monte-Carlo lead on Friday afternoon as his titanic battle with Sébastien Ogier continued unabated.
Ogier stretched his 1.5sec lunchtime advantage to 5.0sec after winning the second pass through the Corps - La Salle en Beaumont test. However, Meeke hit back in the following Aspres les Corps - Chauffayer, posting fastest time to move back to the top of the leaderboard by 0.8sec.
“I just keep trusting my instincts, that’s all I can do,” said a relaxed Meeke, at the wheel of Citroën’s DS 3 with the new Abu Dhabi Total squad.
Ogier admitted he drove more cautiously in the second stage of the group. “It was a bit more tricky and I was more safe,” admitted the Volkswagen Polo R pilot.
Jari-Matti Latvala climbed to third, overhauling Polo R team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen who spun in SS7. “I dropped a lot of time. I lost the rear of the car in the slippery conditions. I tried to get back into the rhythm but it wasn’t optimum driving,” said the Norwegian.
Also in trouble was Eric Camilli who crashed out on the same stretch of icy road which claimed Robert Kubica earlier, while Lorenzo Bertelli also retired after going off the road.
Ott Tänak slipped to 10th, dropping 1min 40sec when he rolled into a ditch in his similar Ford Fiesta RS.
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