With just three stages remaining, Volkswagen Motorsport looks set to claim a clean sweep of the Rallye Monte-Carlo podium
Sébastien Ogier heads an impressive one-two-three for Volkswagen Motorsport after the third day of Rallye Monte-Carlo competition. The French reigning World Champion has 42.8 seconds in hand to team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, and Andreas Mikkelsen is a further minute adrift in the third Polo R WRC.Today’s route was scheduled to take in four stages, however the first running of the 19.93 kilometre Prunieres - Embrun stage was cancelled for safety reasons due to the high number of spectators. As a consequence, the first stage the crews tackled was the daunting 51.70 kilometre run from Lardier-et Valenca to Faye, where conditions were mainly dry but with patches of snow and ice. As always, tyre choice was critical and Ogier played it safe, such was his overnight advantage. The Frenchman lost 40 seconds to Latvala and a staggering two minutes to stage winner Robert Kubica, but maintained his overall advantage going into the lunchtime service. This afternoon he continued to control the pace at the front of the field and arrived in Monaco this evening with a comfortable advantage with three stages remaining on Sunday. Latvala has had a trouble-free day and is keen to maintain position, being that his best Monte-Carlo result is fifth. Similarly, Andreas Mikkelsen has escaped unscathed and following Ott Tanak’s off earlier in the day, the Norwegian is under less pressure.Mads Østberg has moved into fourth in the lead DS 3 WRC but suffered engine problems late his afternoon. Dani Sordo, eighth last night, has climbed to fifth, despite going off this morning and then struggling with a steering problem this afternoon. He and team-mate Thierry Neuville are split by just 4.7 seconds, the Belgian having a clean run through today’s stage. Elfyn Evans has dropped from sixth to seventh with suspension problems in the last stage, and Martin Prokop is eighth, the Czech driver losing time in the first stage with a lack of confidence. Citroën team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Kris Meeke have moved back into the top 10 after their problems yesterday and both won a stage apiece.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY 3 (Saturday)1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:00:39.92. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +42.83. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:49.84. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (DS 3 WRC) +2:42.85. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:16.16. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:20.87. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:51.78. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +8:17.59. Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena (DS 3 WRC) +9:02.210. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) +10:06.0