As in Stage 1 for the first timed section of this first WRC event of the year, World Champion 2019, Ott Tänak, was faster in SS2, an hour later, between Saint-Maurice and Saint-Bonnet. Over 20.78km of this varied and tricky stage, Tänak’s time of 12 :11.8 was only three tenths of a second better than the result of the youngest of the Toyota drivers, Finnish revelation of last year Kalle Rovanperä. The 20-year-old, once again, finished ahead of vice-World Champion Elfyn Evans, but this time with a 5-second gap, while 7-time World Champion Sébastien Ogier remained cautious because of a small brake pedal problem which had appeared in Stage 1. This allowed Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), and his new co-driver, to set a better time than Ogier. The good surprise came from young Frenchman Pierre-Louis Loubet, in the Top 6 of this stage for his very first participation to the 110-year-old rally classic. The overall table is a logical consequence of the afternoon events, with Tänak ahead and ready to defend his position early on Friday morning. He holds a 3-second advantage on Rovanperä, 8 seconds on Evans, 16 on Neuville et Ogier, grouped in less than one second. Five stages are scheduled on Friday, from 6 am onwards.