Gap (AFP)

Seven-time world champion Sébastien Ogier is the new leader of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, first round of the WRC world championship, ahead of his Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanäk (Hyundai) at midday on Friday.

French Sébastien Ogier, looking for an eighth Monte-Carlo victory and an eighth title this year, won the first three stages on Friday, the toughest day with 104.7 km timed in five events, including the two premieres at night on icy roads.

In this unprecedented Monte-Carlo behind closed doors and very early in the morning to respect the curfew at 6 p.m. in France, the Briton Elfyn Evans, vice-world champion, is chasing behind the Frenchman at 11.3 seconds.

Estonian Tanäk, first leader on Thursday, remains in contact in 3rd place, 24.8 seconds behind Ogier, as does young Toyota Finn Kalle Rovanperä who, at 20, continues to impress, 4th at 28, 2 seconds.

The other Hyundai drivers are below: the Belgian Thierry Neuville is 5th at more than a minute and the Spaniard Dani Sordi 6th at a little over two minutes.

The other WRC Frenchman Pierre-Louis Loubet (Hyundai 2C Competition) was 7th at four minutes.

Two other specials are on the program on Friday, identical to SS3 and SS4.

© 2021 AFP