Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) Friday afternoon, halfway through the second match day to lead the Rally of Monte Carlo, that is the openingsmanche of the WRC championship.
The Belgian took over after the fourth stage of the rally, the leadership and 3.4 lead on the first pursuer Sébastien Ogier (Citroen C3 WRC). Ott Tänak (Toyota Yaris WRC), follows in third position on 16.9 of Neuville, who also today/Friday a quirky choice of tires made.
The second day of the Monte Carlo began with a false note. The first klassementsrit of the day was cancelled because the spectators in the descent towards the finish to close to the road and no ears had to the guidelines of the stewards. A decision that the tactical game with the tire choice even more complex. Most riders opted for four studded tyres and two softbanden, which was ideal for the first ride. Due to the cancellation of that ride were the riders suddenly at a disadvantage, because the next ride was bone-dry. Sébastien Loeb (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) was set up with two soft, two supersofts and two studded tyres now in favor. The Frenchman drove the quickest time, his first with the Hyundai, and that despite a flat tyre at the end of the ride.
Neuville had with two soft, one supersoft and three nagelbanden again a quirky choice, and now it appeared that a good choice. Neuville was only half a second slower than Loeb, but – much more importantly – 10.6 faster than Ogier, and 19.2 faster than Tänak allowing the Belgian to the lead came. In the third stage of the day drove our fellow countryman the second time and he was two seconds slower than Ogier. Tänak got again a touch and lost fourteen seconds on Ogier.
Friday afternoon, the same three stages even driven.