Sebastien Ogier crept closer towards sealing his eighth World Rally Championship crown by reclaiming the lead Saturday from Toyota team-mate and title rival Elfyn Evans at the season finale in Monza.
Frenchman Ogier holds a 5.2-second advantage over Evans after 11 of 17 specials, with two more to come in the afternoon on the iconic Monza race circuit.
Ogier led after the first four foggy stages in the Italian Alps but Evans went ahead at the Monza circuit, home to the country’s Formula One Grand Prix, in the afternoon when the Frenchman had brake problems.
The day finished in the dark and on slippery asphalt. “It’s been a good start,” said Ogier. “I think we had a good drive in the mountains.
This afternoon I had some little issues and I didn’t take any risks in the last stage with the chicanes. Ogier lost the lead on Friday to Evans but regained it from the Welshman by winning stages 12 and 13, the last of four morning specials in the mountains Saturday.
Spain’s Dani Sordo is third in his Hyundai at 33.4sec. He moved ahead of Thierry Neuville after the Belgian sustained damage to his car and dropped to fourth. Ogier brought a healthy 17-point lead to Monza.
With a maximum of 30 points still in play, he must finish ahead of Evans or score at least 13 points to secure the title.—AP
dominance he held over Ruud.—APP