Mikko Hirvonen will continue to drive flat-out on the final two stages of the Monte Carlo Rally, even though he has increased his lead over Sebastien Ogier to 46.1 seconds.
Ogier had steadily trimmed Hirvonen's advantage with a series of stage wins but couldn't match the Fiesta
driver's pace on stage 13.
"We've got a bit more room to breathe now," said Hirvonen after going 7.8s faster than Ogier on the 19.13-kilometre run. "Sebastien is giving everything he has and I can't slow down so I'll still drive flat-out."
Malcolm Wilson, the boss of Hirvonen's M-Sport team, said he had every confidence in his driver. "Mikko knows what he has to do and how he has to do it. He's being very careful and sensible and we're happy with how everything is going. We just hope it continues."
There are two stages left before the finish in Monaco. The first one gets underway at 2320hrs local time.