89th Rallye Monte-Carlo

18 - 24 January 2021

Highlight SS 12: Ogier extends his lead, Neuville on the podium

Published on 24 January 2021

The Monte-Carlo Rally leader and defending World Champion, Sébastien Ogier (Toyota), decided to be the fastest this morning in Stage 12, between Puget-Théniers and La Penne (12.93km), so that his rivals understand early enough that he intends to set a new record of 8 wins in the most mythical of all WRC events. Equipped with studded tires on a snowless road filled with black ice patches in most of the corners, he could not trust his gravel crew because their info was outdated: “The conditions have changed a lot since the gravel crew passed earlier this morning, so we cannot use their info…”, Ogier smiled at the end of this stage last used in the 80s by scary Group B cars. He had just managed to be 7 tenths of a second quicker than Neuville, who took a chance this morning by taking 2 Super Soft tyres instead of two extra studded Pirelli tyres. But this was not enough to counter Ogier’s huge experience in this rally. “Super SebO” is now 21 seconds ahead of Elfyn Evans, who lost 7 more seconds on his French team-mate, and Neuville is now 3rd overall, over one minute back, thanks to a puncture for young Finn Kalle Rovanperä, who lost over 50 seconds in that stage. There are three stages left, 40 km including the Power Stage. The boss is in control…