Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson says the heavy snow forecast for the French Alps means the Monte Carlo Rally remains wide open.
Five-time Monte winner Sebastien Loeb holds a one-minute lead for Citroen at the top of the time sheets tonight, but wintry weather is expected to arrive on the stages tomorrow and those conditions make tire choices even more critical.
"This event is wide open still," said Wilson. "We could have Petter [Solberg] winning, a Mini winning with Dani Sordo, Sebastien winning, anything. The weather is really coming in. It was due to come in on Friday, but we've heard it will be here tomorrow."
Wilson's Citroen counterpart Yves Matton said he was not worried by what the weather would do – just when it would do it.
"If the snow is coming, then I would like to know before we put the tires on the car to go to the stages," said Matton. "We don't want the weather to change a lot after the cars leave service."
Heavy snow seriously impacted last year's Monte Carlo Rally – then an Intercontinental Rally Challenge round – with an inappropriate tire choice from Skoda dropping its cars down the leader board, while Bryan Bouffier's inspired use of studs rocketed him into a lead he would never lose.