Day 3: Same story as day 2 really, Loeb (who won two of three stages today) extended his lead over Ogier. The two of them are solid in first and second place, even though Ogier stalled on a hairpin. Behind them, Novikov and Sordo are fighting for third place. Novikov, his Ford fitted with just winter tyres incontrast to the Citroens and VWs, had a troublefree day, while Sordo had a spin in the morning session. Latvala won a lot of time on Sisteron and climbed to fifth place, bumping fellow Fin Hirvonen to sixth. Norwegian Mads Østberg, in eight place now, won the midday stage.
With three more stages to go, Loeb still leads Ogier by 90 seconds. With Novikov retiring in the treacherous 14th stage (with slushy ice, average speed was less than 60kph), Sordo moves up to third. Hirvonen and Ostberg now round off the top five.
The organisers of Rallye Monte-Carlo have stopped the event early, after huge numbers of spectators forced the cancellation of the final two stages on safety grounds.
The results after SS16 become the final classification, meaning Citroen DS3 driver Sebastien Loeb has claimed his 77th victory in the FIA World Rally Championship and his seventh on the Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Sebastien Ogier claimed second on his debut event in the Volkswagen Motorsport team’s Polo R. Dani Sordo took the final podium place in his Abu Dhabi Citroen Total Team DS3.
In the morning stage, multiple drivers including Latvala, Novikov and Hanninen were forced to retire in the treacherous, slushy, snowy conditions. Loeb said it was “undriveable”, while Hirvonen said “It was the most difficult stage I’ve ever driven over Turini in my life.”
Ah Jari :( He does this too often. The guy is quick, but often too quick for the stage. I hope this was just because he’s getting used to the car and we aren’t looking at another 2012 from him. Also, I hope he and Miikka are ok!
Pretty disappointed by the lack of any proper UK coverage (I’ve read about S4C having it on the WRC.com site but nothing in the TV listings…). Thankfully I can catch it all on YouTube.