Sebastien Loeb leads Monte Carlo Rally after Jari-Matti Latvala's crash

Sebastien Loeb holds a comfortable lead at the end of day one of the Monte Carlo Rally after rival Jari-Matti Latvala crashed out of first place

Sebastien Loeb leads Monte Carlo Rally after Jari-Matti Latvala's crash

Latvala had been 30 seconds in front of five-time Monte winner Loeb going into today's final stage, but rolled his Ford and was forced to retire.

All of Loeb's nearest competitors had tough ends to their days, with Ford's Petter Solberg ruing his use of two snow tyres on what was now a mostly dry SS4 and Loeb's Citroen team-mate Mikko Hirvonen damaging a brake in a minor impact with a wall.

Their delays allowed Dani Sordo to move back into second for Mini despite damaging his suspension in an error this morning, although the Spaniard is 1m04s behind Loeb and just 1s ahead of Solberg.

Sebastien Ogier therefore holds an astonishing fourth place overall in his S2000 Skoda - thanks to some very rapid stage times as well as the WRC field's issues. The ex-Citroen WRC driver is just ahead of Evgeny Novikov's M-Sport Ford and the delayed Hirvonen, with Francois Delecour holding a highly respectable seventh on his WRC return with another WRC Ford. Thierry Neuville retired from his Citroen debut on the day's final stage.

P-G Andersson's Proton holds 10th overall and leads the S2000 class, albeit as one of only two cars still running in the poorly-supported division.

Leading positions after SS4:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car        Time/Gap
 1.  Sebastien Loeb     Citroen       1h30m30.1s
 2.  Dani Sordo         Mini           + 1m04.2s
 3.  Petter Solberg     Ford           + 1m05.2s
 4.  Sebastien Ogier    VW Skoda       + 2m21.1s
 5.  Evgeny Novikov     M-Sport Ford   + 2m26.5s
 6.  Mikko Hirvonen     Citroen        + 2m30.0s
 7.  Francois Delecour  M-Sport Ford   + 2m49.9s
 8.  Pierre Campana     Mini           + 4m09.7s
 9.  Ott Tanak          M-Sport Ford   + 4m14.0s
10.  P-G Andersson      Proton         + 4m33.8s
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Jari-Matti Latvala credits Ford team-mate Petter Solberg for crucial Monte Carlo tyre choice
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Jari-Matti Latvala credits Ford team-mate Petter Solberg for crucial Monte Carlo tyre choice

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