Kris Meeke leads Rally Monte Carlo by 11 seconds from defending champion Sebastien Ogier, after setting blistering pace in the second stage of what was a night start for the 2016 World Rally Championship.
Ogier was quickest on the opening stage by 4.4 seconds from Meeke on Super Soft Michelin’s, who lost time after spinning early on and losing around eight seconds. Meanwhile Jari Matti Latvala was 11 seconds down on the opening stage, which turned into 20 seconds after losing time on a slippery piece of road early on in the second stage.
“We hit something on the first proper icy place,” said Latvala. “Suddenly we started to slide and we hit a stone or something. I thought we had damaged the suspension so I backed off. We’ll get back to service. It’s okay.”
Andreas Mikkelsen was 13.1 seconds down on Meeke at the end of the day, having struggled on the opening stage due to the black ice that was in some parts of the road. Meanwhile Thierry Neuville finished 23.8 seconds off the pace in fourth in the new Hyundai i20, with teammate Dani Sordo also struggling in 10th 51.8 seconds off the pace.
“Okay, but I have a lot of dirt on the windscreen and it wasn’t easy to see,” said Neuville. “There’s a lot of loose stuff on the road now and it’s very slippery. For the first stage with the new car through it was okay.”
M-Sport’s Elyfan Evans sustained a puncture during stage one, which put him 2:59.7 off the pace down in P18. Teammate Mads Osberg finished the day in P6 35.3 seconds off the pace, behind Hyundai’s Haydon Paddon.
Photo Credit: WRC