Two-time Rally Monte Carlo winner Sebastien Ogier stretched his advantage over nearest rival Kris Meeke to 30 seconds after the first two stages of Day 3 of the 2016 event.
Ogier was 10 seconds quicker in first run through the 51.55-km Lardier et Valenca - Faye test, the longest stage of the event, with Meeke finishing as best of the rest.
Meanwhile, Andreas Mikkelsen’s tyre gamble of using a mix of studded and super-soft tyres turned out to be a disaster for SS9 - but was the perfect choice for the 10th stage as the Norwegian won it by 43.9s over Ogier.
Still, the Frenchman managed to add another 10 seconds to his advantage over Citroen’s Meeke, stretching the lead to half a minute - while his teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikkelsen continued in third and fourth.
Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, having reportedly made improvements on the new car’s setup, maintained his fifth place, while Mads Ostberg gave up more than a minute in both stages, but did not lose position in the leaderboards.
Dani Sordo ended up stopping and losing a lot of time through SS9, which dropped him to 10th overall, behind Lefebvre, Bryan Bouffier and Ott Tanak.
Three of Day 2’s major retirements - Robert Kubica, Monaco debutant Eric Camilli and Lorenzo Bertelli - did not rejoin the rally.
Standings after SS10:
|Pos.||Driver / Co-Driver||Car||Time/Delay|
Thierry NeuvilleNicolas Gilsoul