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Evans takes Monte Carlo lead from Toyota teammate Ogier

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Gap (France) (AFP)

Welsh driver Elfyn Evans took over the Monte Carlo lead from his Toyota teammate Sebastien Ogier at the midway point of the world championship's season opener on Saturday.

Ogier, going for his eighth Monte Carlo win, led overnight but after clocking the quickest time in the 10th stage Evans held a 4.8 second cushion over the Frenchman.

"It was a good special," said Evans, who took third behind the Hyundai of Thierry Neuville in Saturday's opening stage.

Ahead of Saturday afternoon's two specials Ogier was in upbeat mood.

"I'm happy to be in this position now as the conditions were very tricky and the road difficult to read," said the six-time former champion.

Neuville, 16.6s back in third, has been left to fly the flag for the Korean constructor with Sebastien Loeb after world champion Ott Tanak's debut for Hyundai ended prematurely with a spectacular crash on Friday.

The Estonian and his co-driver miraculously walked away unharmed after their car somersaulted off an icy road in the fourth stage and plunging 100 metres down a hillside.

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