Kris Meeke has retired from Rally Monte Carlo today after sustaining a gearbox failure after Stage 12. The Citroen driver was pushing to reduce the gap when he hit a bump in the middle of stage 12 that caused enough damage to break his gearbox, putting an end to his weekend.
Also retiring from the rally was Jari Matti Latvala. After a small incident off track involving a cameraman at the start of the day, he later suffered suspension issues on Stage 11 which put him out prominently for the rest of the weekend.
Whilst all his closest rivals were retiring, Sebastien Ogier was able to lead a calm first couple of stages despite the slippery conditions we’ve heard the drivers mention throughout the weekend. “Very difficult with the tyres we have,” said Ogier after Stage 8. “The downhill especially was very slippery. The grip was so low it affected my driving rhythm.”
In the afternoon stages Ogier drove cautiously, which reduced his gap to Mikkelsen to 1:59.7 by the end of the day. Theirry Neuville meanwhile was flying in the Hyundai i20, again making use of a good tyre selection for him to go quickest in the final stage of the day.
Hyundai actually managed a one, two, three after Stage 12 with Neuville again going quickest from Paddon and Sordo respectively. Neuville was running a combination of the studded and stud-less Michelin tyres on his i20, which allowed him to close the gap and finish the day third fastest 2:12.2 off the pace.
Dani Sordo meanwhile is now within two seconds of Ott Tanak for seventh, after recovering from his minor shunt earlier in the day which cost him time.