Behind them, the void. Sebastien Loeb, with the second and last i20 Coupé Wrc still in the race, chases at 66 ″. Sixth, just under two minutes, Esapekka Lappi on the Ford Fiesta M-Sport, in front of the rookie Kalle Rovanpera.
Orphan of Ott Tanak, author of a frightening accident this morning , the Monegasque test continues to guarantee spectacle and great balance at the top thanks to the confrontation between Ogier, Evans and Neuville. The three appeared a notch above the rest of the group for the harmony found with their car on the insidious French roads. And the stopwatch made no discounts.
After dominating the first loop with three centers on three special stages, and having found the head of the general (+8 ″ 9 on Neuville and + 9 ″ 7 on the teammate the maximum advantage recorded after the PS5), Evans lost a a bit of brilliance in the afternoon, also thanks to a not perfect choice of tires.
The Welshman of the Toyota house has always closed behind Ogier, who has imposed himself in the PS6 and PS7 and made the overtaking in the standings at the end of the PS8, won by Thierry Neuville. On this occasion, the Belgian recovered 1 ″ to the French and 4 ″ 9 to the British, securing the second scratch in this rally after the PS2 last night.
” No big mistake, Seb made a good test “, Evans said at the end of the PS8. “ I think after the mid-day service we were a little cautious in making choices , but in the last special the road had ruined a lot and probably it would have been better to have the super soft. Tomorrow we will continue to push ”.
” I said this morning that I had been a little too cautious, and so were the directions received from my scouts, ” said Ogier . “ In the afternoon we talked about it and made some changes to the setup . All in all it was a good day . ”
Instead spoke of a ” frustrating day ” Thierry Neuville : ” The morning was difficult and we struggled to do a special clean. The conditions were very complicated and I didn’t have the right feeling to push. Then I started pushing a bit more and I hope to continue like this tomorrow . ”
On schedule 75.2 timed kilometers on Saturday , with the double pass on the special stages of St-Léger-les-Mélèzes – La Bâtie-Neuve and La Bréole – Selonnet.
Monte Carlo Rally – Ranking after the PS8 – Top-10
|Pos.||Pilot||Car||Time / Gap|
|1||S. OGIER||Toyota||1: 43: 31.5|
|4||S. LOEB||Hyundai||+1: 06.9|
|5||E. LAPPI||Ford||+1: 57.2|
|6||K. ROVANPERÄ||Toyota||+2: 19.2|
|7||T. KATSUTA||Toyota||+5: 18.7|
|8||E. CAMILLI||Citroen (Wrc3)||+8: 06.2|
|9||N. CIAMIN||Citroen (Wrc3)||+9: 04.0|
|10||M. OSTBERG||Citroen (Wrc2)||+9: 37.2|
(This story has not been edited and was translated from Italian)