TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team continues to hold first and second positions at Rallye Monte-Carlo with Sébastien Ogier leading Kalle Rovanperä by 16 seconds with one day remaining.
The GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID’s run of consecutive stage wins to begin the season reached 11 as it dominated the top three times throughout the morning loop of three tests. Rovanperä scored his and co-driver Jonne Halttunen’s 100th FIA World Rally Championship stage win in the opening SS9 and added another in SS11. Ogier and his co-driver Vincent Landais were fastest in SS10 and ended the morning exactly half a minute ahead of their team-mates.
While Ogier made use of this advantage to avoid unnecessary risk in the afternoon, Rovanperä claimed an impressive further stage win in the day’s dark final test, where he was 6.7s quicker than anybody else. That means his margin in hand over third-placed Thierry Neuville is now exactly the same as his deficit to Ogier, at 16s.
Elfyn Evans has continued to fight back from time lost to a flat tyre on Friday morning, moving up into fourth place ahead of Ott Tänak’s M-Sport Ford and never outside the top-three fastest times all day.
Takamoto Katsuta claimed sixth place in the morning’s first stage and continued his consistent pace through the day in his TGR WRC Challenge Program-supported entry.
End of day three (Saturday):
1 Sébastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) 2h27m11.5s
2 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +16.0s
3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) +32.0s
4 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +56.5s
5 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Ford Puma Rally1 HYBRID) +1m37.3s
6 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +2m15.7s
7 Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) +3m08.8s
8 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) +3m11.4s
9 Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +8m06.1s
10 Yohan Rossel/Arnaud Dunand (Citroën C3 Rally2) +8m21.3s