WRC: Rally Monte Carlo Day 3 Takeaways
The shortest day of the Rally might be over meaning amazingly we have only one day left, here are the key talking points going into the final day.
Toyota Class of the Field
Going into the final day things couldn't be looking any better for new team boss Jari Matti Latvala as his three cars occupy the top three positions. Today it is Sebastien Ogier who leads, our third different overnight leader in three days, he took the lead with an outrageous time in the first stage of the day where he went over 17 seconds faster than anyone else. His lead going into tomorrow is 13 seconds which is not unreachable but at the same time is not the kind of lead Ogier ever loses especially in Monte. As for Evans he must have felt so demoralised after the first stage where he lost the lead, but he quickly put it out of his mind and on the second pass of that stage he made a statement by beating Ogier himself, albeit by only 1.3 seconds. There is no doubt Evans will want to win tomorrow, but for the championship, he will likely be content with second, time will tell how much he is willing to risk tomorrow.
Rollercoster for Hyundai
It must feel like what could have been for Hyundai as not one of their drivers has had an entirely clean event. Going into today Tanak was still in the fight but it soon became apparent it would not be his day, a puncture on SS9 put him out of the top places but still in a strong enough position to get a score. However, in the next stage things went from bad to worse as another puncture dropped him well back and then to rub salt into the wound he was forced to retire when it was deemed he didn't have enough rubber on his wheel to be allowed to continue meaning for the second year in a row his Monte is over prematurely. As for Thierry Neuville, things were looking on the up with a stage win in SS 10 putting him right in the fight for a podium place. He seems to have finally got to grips with his new codriver and is looking more like the driver we saw here last year, although he lost some time to 3rd place man Kalle Rovanpera in the last days of the day he will be liking his chances of upsetting Toyotas 1-2-3. Hyundai need to look at the positives as well as the mistakes going forward throughout the season.
Mikkelsen Takes Control
Going into this event Andreas Mikkelsen made no secret of the fact he was coming with one intention, and that was to win. So far so good. He has an advantage of over 2 minutes from Adrien Fourmaux after the Frenchman last a considerable amount of time with a puncture. Overall Andreas is currently sitting in 7th place with an advantage of over 50 seconds over WRC driver Gus Greensmith. Should he have an incident-free Sunday it seems he will take a commanding victory that will prove to everyone why he deserves to be considered for a return to the top tier of Rallying. As for 2nd and 3rd in class, there is an interesting little battle going on with Eric Camili just over 17 seconds behind Fourmaux.