Three out of three. The 7-time World Champion, Sébastien Ogier, reigned supreme on the three first stages scheduled on Friday and posted three best times in a row : first in SS3 between Aspremont and La Bâtie des Fonts (19.61 km), then in SS4 from Chalancon to Gumiane (21.62 km), and last but not least in SS5 (22.24 km), between Montauban sur l’Ouvèze and Villebois-les-Pins, via the famous Col de Perty (1302 m), a high point of Monte-Carlo Rally, with its hillclimb in pure Pikes Peak style. The last time Col de Perty had been used was in 2014 when the rally was won by… Seb Ogier in a Volkswagen Polo R. In this very demanding stage, only Elfyn Evans managed to follow the tremendous pace of the leader, whereas young Finn Kalle Rovanperä, not at ease on a dirty road, calmed down and left the 3rd place overall to Ott Tänak, the 2019 World Champion. The other Hyundai driver, Thierry Neuville, spun in this stage and lost even more time. Last year’s winner has had a tough start in this rally, with a brand new co-driver. Two other stages are scheduled on Friday afternoon, after a welcome pause at Gap Service Park.