Tanak closes back in on conservative Ogier
Monte Carlo Rally

Tanak closes back in on conservative Ogier

Ott Tanak hacked a third out of Sebastien Ogier's Saturday morning Monte Carlo Rally advantage to get the gap at the top down to 39.5 seconds.

Tanak dropped back from Ogier dramatically at the start of the day with what he claimed was a damper problem, and was more than a minute behind going into the second running of the morning's pair of stages at the start of the afternoon.

With reigning World Rally champion Ogier in conservation mode, Tanak bested his 2017 team-mate by 15.3s to win SS11 and the Toyota driver was then second-fastest through SS12 as Ogier dropped another 8.6s to his pursuer in sixth.

However, with only five stages remaining, Ogier's lead is still a healthy one.

A near-perfect Monte Carlo Rally from the trio of Toyota drivers took a small hit when Esapekka Lappi effectively ended his podium chances with a self-induced puncture on SS11.

Jari-Matti Latvala now holds a three-minute advantage in third, with Kris Meeke now fourth.

Lappi ran wide into a snow bank while challenging team-mate Latvala for third, and though he got going swiftly he then had to stop to change a tyre.

That has dropped him to fifth behind Meeke, although the gap is a mere 6.2s after the Citroen driver had to perform a quick U-turn in a field on SS11 and then lost at least 10 seconds on SS12 when he locked up and nudged a snow bank.

Elfyn Evans is on the periphery of the fight for fourth, 23.8s behind Lappi, after two solid stages that the Welshman was not particularly pleased with.

His M-Sport team-mate Bouffier is seventh, but only 12.2s clear of Hyundai's Thierry Neuville.

The i20 WRC driver won SS12 to recover from a nightmare SS11 that featured three offs, including backing his car into a bank of snow and shooting into the same field as Meeke.

Instead of performing a U-turn, Neuville gunned it across the field and rejoined the road over a bank - the same strategy employed by Tanak, who also went off at the same corner, minutes later on his way to the stage's best time.

WRC2 leader Jan Kopecky heads his class by 3m40.6s from young gun Kalle Rovanpera after Ghislain de Mevius hit trouble.

Related news

Nico Hulkenberg quickest, but Ferrari finishes opening test on a high

Nico Hulkenberg quickest, but Ferrari finishes opening test on a high

Nico Hulkenberg finished the first test of 2019 at the top of the timesheets, but it is Ferrari who can leave with bragging rights after another impressive day at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Daniil Kvyat sets fastest time of F1 winter testing for Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat sets fastest time of F1 winter testing for Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat set the fastest time so far at this week's test on Wednesday, putting Toro Rosso at the top of the timesheets.

Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top in testing

Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top in testing

New recruit Charles Leclerc kept Ferrari on top of the timesheets, and did more laps than any other driver, on the second day of Formula One's pre-season testing in Spain on Tuesday.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make strong start to 2019 by topping opening test

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make strong start to 2019 by topping opening test

Sebastian Vettel topped the first day of Formula One's preseason after Ferrari made an impressive start to testing.

Ott Tanak wins in Sweden to lead championship

Ott Tanak wins in Sweden to lead championship

Estonian Ott Tanak won Rally Sweden for Toyota on Sunday to take the lead in the world rally championship for the first time in his career.

Tanak leads Rally Sweden into final day

Tanak leads Rally Sweden into final day

Estonian Ott Tanak will lead Rally Sweden into the final day after finishing Saturday's penultimate leg nearly a minute clear.

Suninen shines on first day in Sweden

Suninen shines on first day in Sweden

Finnish driver Teemu Suninen led after the first day of Rally Sweden on Friday while championship leader Sebastien Ogier retired his Citroen after getting stuck in snow.

Ferrari unveil new Formula One car for new era

Ferrari unveil new Formula One car for new era

Ferrari has unveiled the car it hopes can halt Mercedes' recent dominance of Formula One and claim its first championship in over a decade.

Kimi Raikkonen drives 2019 Alfa Romeo F1 car in Valentine's Day livery

Kimi Raikkonen drives 2019 Alfa Romeo F1 car in Valentine's Day livery

Kimi Raikkonen clocked up his first 100 kilometres in the new Alfa Romeo Formula One car on Thursday, after completing 33 laps of Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

RELATED NEWS

Nico Hulkenberg quickest, but Ferrari finishes opening test on a high
Formula 1

Nico Hulkenberg quickest, but Ferrari finishes opening test on a high

Nico Hulkenberg finished the first test of 2019 at the top of the timesheets, but it is Ferrari who can leave with bragging rights after another impressive day at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Daniil Kvyat sets fastest time of F1 winter testing for Toro Rosso
Formula 1

Daniil Kvyat sets fastest time of F1 winter testing for Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat set the fastest time so far at this week's test on Wednesday, putting Toro Rosso at the top of the timesheets.

Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top in testing
Formula 1

Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top in testing

New recruit Charles Leclerc kept Ferrari on top of the timesheets, and did more laps than any other driver, on the second day of Formula One's pre-season testing in Spain on Tuesday.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make strong start to 2019 by topping opening test
Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make strong start to 2019 by topping opening test

Sebastian Vettel topped the first day of Formula One's preseason after Ferrari made an impressive start to testing.

Ott Tanak wins in Sweden to lead championship
WRC Rally Sweden

Ott Tanak wins in Sweden to lead championship

Estonian Ott Tanak won Rally Sweden for Toyota on Sunday to take the lead in the world rally championship for the first time in his career.

Tanak leads Rally Sweden into final day
WRC Rally Sweden

Tanak leads Rally Sweden into final day

Estonian Ott Tanak will lead Rally Sweden into the final day after finishing Saturday's penultimate leg nearly a minute clear.

Suninen shines on first day in Sweden
WRC Rally Sweden

Suninen shines on first day in Sweden

Finnish driver Teemu Suninen led after the first day of Rally Sweden on Friday while championship leader Sebastien Ogier retired his Citroen after getting stuck in snow.

Ferrari unveil new Formula One car for new era
Formula 1

Ferrari unveil new Formula One car for new era

Ferrari has unveiled the car it hopes can halt Mercedes' recent dominance of Formula One and claim its first championship in over a decade.

Kimi Raikkonen drives 2019 Alfa Romeo F1 car in Valentine's Day livery
Formula 1

Kimi Raikkonen drives 2019 Alfa Romeo F1 car in Valentine's Day livery

Kimi Raikkonen clocked up his first 100 kilometres in the new Alfa Romeo Formula One car on Thursday, after completing 33 laps of Ferrari's Fiorano test track.