Sebastien Ogier insists he hasn’t given up trying to catch Mikko Hirvonen at the top of the overall standings but concedes it will need a mistake from the Fiesta driver if he is to win the Monte Carlo Rally for a second time.
Ogier closed to within 38.3 seconds of Hirvonen
by going fastest on stage 12 – his seventh stage win of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge opener – but couldn’t repeat his performance on the next test, where Hirvonen beat him by 7.8s to restore his previously healthy margin.
“I will keep the pressure on Mikko to the end because it’s possible he can still make a mistake,” said Peugeot driver Ogier. “The problem is Mikko doesn’t make mistakes very often.”
Like Hirvonen, who now leads by 46.1s, Ogier used intermediate tyres on the rear of his Peugeot 207 and slicks on the front on stage 13, but said tyre choice hadn’t been a factor in his slower time on the run, which took place in largely dry conditions.
“I was just too careful on the second stage because I was worried about snow on the road in some places,” Ogier added.