Bouffier leads in Monte Carlo after snow chaos

By on Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bryan Bouffier leads Francois Delecour by 28 seconds with the rest of the field at least a minute adrift at the end of a dramatic second day of the Monte Carlo Rally.

Erstwhile leader Juho Hanninen has fallen back to sixth ahead of Petter Solberg, as both chose the wrong tyres for what turned out to be snow-covered stages this afternoon.

With today's final Cimetiere de Vassieux to Col de Gaudissart featuring even heavier snow than the preceding stage, Delecour benefited from being the only person on fully-studded snow tyres, and took the first stage victory of his return after an eight-year absence. That vaulted him from sixth to second place.

All the other frontrunners had to struggle on stud-free winter tyres or even intermediates. Freddy Loix, Guy Wilks and Stephane Sarrazin used the former option and finished the day in third to fifth places - despite Loix struggling through the final 12 kilometres of SS8 with a puncture.

Hanninen had two winter tyres to fit along with his intermediates, but even this combination left him two minutes off the pace and dropped him to sixth - 2m35.7s behind Bouffier overall. However the Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion remained upbeat despite having been dominant prior to the snow.

"This is the Monte Carlo Rally and sometimes you need to take risks," said Hanninen. "We took the same tyre as Petter. There is no point worrying about it anymore, it is part of this rally."

Solberg is 1m14s behind Hanninen in eighth place, and nearly four minutes adrift of Bouffier.

Pos  Driver             Car        Time/Gap
 1.  Bryan Bouffier     Peugeot  2h14m38.8s
 2.  Francois Delecour  Peugeot     + 28.0s
 3.  Freddy Loix        Skoda     + 1m05.5s
 4.  Guy Wilks          Peugeot   + 1m20.5s
 5.  Stephane Sarrazin  Peugeot   + 1m41.1s
 6.  Juho Hanninen      Skoda     + 2m35.7s
 7.  Petter Solberg     Peugeot   + 3m49.1s
 8.  Nicolas Vouilloz   Skoda     + 5m31.0s
 9.  Jan Kopecky        Skoda     + 7m51.7s
10.  Toni Gardemeister  Peugeot   + 7m52.7s

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