Ogier starts to trim Neuville's Monte lead

Ogier starts to trim Neuville's Monte lead
By AutoSport

21/01/2017 at 13:27Updated 21/01/2017 at 14:39

Sebastien Ogier made inroads into Thierry Neuville's lead on the second loop of Saturday Monte Carlo Rally stages, but the Hyundai remains 51 seconds clear.

Four-time WRC champion Ogier was slightly slowed when he understeered through a field on SS12, but was still second fastest there and had won SS11.

Neuville admitted he played it relatively cautiously, having bought himself some security by extending his lead to a minute earlier in the morning.

There was a scare for Ogier's M-Sport team-mate Ott Tanak when he reached the end of SS11 concerned that his Ford had become "very sick", with gearshift and power steering issues appearing.

Eurosport Player special offer: 12 months for only £19.99

Some post-stage work cleared the problem and he remains third, albeit now 38.8s off Ogier ahead.

Fourth-placed Jari-Matti Latvala was happier with his Toyota and his driving on the repeat loop, while Dani Sordo enjoyed the drier conditions and pulled away from Craig Breen to make fifth secure.

Elfyn Evans continued to fly as his DMACK tyres came alive with less ice to deal with.

He claimed his second stage win of the day on SS12 and is now up to seventh overall ahead of WRC2 leader Andreas Mikkelsen.

Kris Meeke managed to get going again after a half-hour delay with an ignition problem on his Citroen earlier in the day, and is one of three Rally2 runners along with team-mate Stephane Lefebvre and Toyota's Juho Hanninen.