Updated: Friday, 17 January 2014 02:51 | By Agence France-Presse

Bouffier in front after Ogier struggles

French driver Bryan Bouffier snatched the lead in the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally on Thursday after world champion Sebastien Ogier blundered on tyre choice.


Bouffier in front after Ogier struggles

French driver Bryan Bouffier steers his Ford Fiesta RS on January 16, 2014 in Rosans, southeastern France, during the 5th stage of the 82nd Monte-Carlo Rally, between Rosans and La Charce - by Jean-Pierre Clatot

Ford Fiesta driver Bouffier, the 2011 winner in the principality, leads Britain's Kris Meeke in a Citroen with Poland's ex-Formula One star Robert Kubica, in another Ford Fiesta, in third spot.

Ogier paid a price for a poor tyre choice on the morning stages, but had risen to fourth from ninth by the end of the first day in his Volkswagen Polo. 

However, he was still over 47 seconds off the lead having started the day on super-slick tyres which saw his car crash into a wall on the opening stage.

"It was a real Monte Carlo Rally, with the rain, snow, the fog," said Bouffier.

"It's also really satisfying to finish the first day in first place as a private entry up against factory teams," he said.

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