Neuville leads after opening Monte Carlo night stages
Hyundai's Thierry Neuville led the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally after the first two night stages on Thursday, with seven-times winner Sebastien Ogier 19.1 seconds behind on his Toyota debut.
Ogier, a six-times world champion making a fresh start after leaving Citroen, won the dry opening Malijai-Puimichel stage in the French Alps after the formal start in Monaco.
Belgian Neuville then dominated the icier, 25.49km Bayons-Breziers second stage to lead the rally back to the service at Gap.
“They were tricky conditions. I was trying to read the road as well as I could and not take risks. I think we have done a good time,” said Neuville after completing the stage 25.5 seconds faster than Ogier.
Reigning world champion Ott Tanak, who has switched from Toyota to Hyundai, was third overall.