Ott Tänak (Toyota Yaris) after the opening day of the Rally of Monte Carlo in the lead. The 31-year-old Est has 9.1 lead over world champion Sébastien Ogier (Citroën C3). Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupe) is third on 14.3.
The Monte Carlo is known for its changing weather conditions and difficult bandenkeuzes. The Toyota, Ford and Citroen drivers were all the same choice: four studded tyres, two supersofts. Neuville did just the opposite and went as the only official factory driver with four supersofts on to the track. A bold tyre choice by the Belgian, who in the opening stage 26.8 lost on Tänak and 16.2 on Ogier. For the second ride turned out to be the tyres perfectly. Neuville won the second race and was 11.0 faster than Ogier, and 12.5 faster than Tänak. “In the second stage, I take 11 seconds to Ogier, but that is not enough. I had more hoped for. We have tried it. It was, perhaps, a bold choice, but with the info I had, I thought it was a good choice of tires was,” said Neuville what disappointed after the second ride.
Looking back, it was the tyre choice of Neuville not bad. The Belgian remains in the track of Tänak and Ogier. The trio that last year, for the title fought has after two rides already separated from the other riders. The finn Esapekka Lappi (Citroën C3) follows as the fourth in 45.2 of Tänak. Kris Meeke (Toyota Yaris), Thursday morning the winner of the shakedown, and the second in the opening stage, raced in the second stage leak and lost more than one minute on Neuville. The Northern Irishman closes the opening day as the seventh. The Frenchman Sébastien Loeb (Hyundai i20) is eighth and has a backlog of 55.2. Teemu Suninen (Ford Fiesta) has the dubious honor of being the first quitter to be listed. The Fin slipped in the opening stage of the way.
Guillaume de Mévius (Citroën C3, R5) was in the second stage the fastest WRC2 driver. In the position De Mevius on the thirteenth place. Gregoire Munster (Skoda Fabia R5) is seventeenth.
Friday, six klassementsritten driven. The riders get two loops of three stages served for a total of 125,12 competitive kilometres. The Monte Carlo ends Sunday afternoon.