WRC: Sebastien Loeb still on top at the Monte Carlo Rally
Reigning World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb stayed in control on the penultimate day of the Monte Carlo Rally.
Last Updated: 18/01/13 5:21pm
Loeb, who is only participating in four races this season and is bound to hand over his title, won two of Friday's three stages and leads Sebastien Ogier by 107 seconds heading into Saturday's finale.
Volkswagen driver Ogier looked not to be pushing too hard in the ice and snow on Friday, seeming instead to be happy with the valuable points he would earn for second - he is title favourite with Loeb going part-time.
But there was a change in third place, with M-Sport's Evgeny Novikov passing Dani Sordo on stage 12, but his advantage is only two seconds after the Spaniard responded on the final leg of the day.
VW's Jari-Matti Latvala finished the day in fifth, ahead of the Citroen of Mikko Hirvonen.
The only other driver to win a stage on Friday was Mads Ostberg, but he is still lying more than six minutes behind in eighth place overall and only managed to pass Frenchman Bryan Bouffier.