Exclusive access from $6.55/month
Ogier has made a perfect start to his FIA World Rally Championship defence, mastering treacherous alpine winter conditions for an all-the-way victory in the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo last night. The Frenchman came out of-the-blocks flying on Sunday morning’s first stage – taking in the legendary Col de Turini in the mountains behind Monaco – to firmly stamp his authority following a Saturday challenge from Ott Tänak, before backing off and carefully pacing himself to the finish outside the royal palace. Tänak completed a superb debut for Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT by finishing second, 58.3sec adrift of M-Sport’s Ogier but 53.7sec clear of his own teammate Jari-Matti Latvala. Esapekka Lappi was on course to secure a 2-3-4 result for Toyota until he ran off a corner on the final Power Stage and plummeted to seventh. Lappi’s loss was Kris Meeke’s gain, the Ulsterman claiming not only fourth outright but also maximum points for winning the Power Stage in a Citroën C3. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville finished fifth, ensuring all four manufacturer teams were represented in the top five. Ogier’s win in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta was his fifth-straight in WRC and sixth in total and produced the best possible start to his campaign for a sixth drivers’ championship. “We always face tough conditions at Rallye Monte-Carlo but this year they were really extreme," Ogier said.
"I don’t think I’ve ever struggled so much with the tyre choices, so to have come out on top is fantastic.
Sebastien Ogier

Sebastien Ogier was once again unstoppable on his way to a fifth Monte Carlo Rally win.

“I think everyone made mistakes this weekend – myself included – but it was almost impossible to have the perfect drive. Luckily we only had some small mistakes and once we had a good gap it was just a case of trying to manage it – but that is never easy in these conditions either!
“It’s the best way to start the season and I need to congratulate the team because everyone has worked really hard and I know that they will also be super happy with this result.
"The competition is going to be stronger than ever and we’ve made a strong start which is really important.” Born virtually on the rally route in the French alpine town of Gap, Ogier appeared at home this weekend in conditions that varied frequently from snow to ice and wet and dry tarmac. He led from the start in Monte-Carlo on Thursday night and was masterful in controlling not only the conditions but also the gap to his rivals – despite spinning his car on Thursday night and Friday afternoon.
Ott Tanak Monte Carlo Rally

Ott Tanak made a brilliant start for Toyota, finishing a strong second in the Yaris WRC.

Ogier’s second spin – from which he needed spectators’ help to recover - allowed the Estonian Tänak, having his first drive for Toyota, to slash the gap by Friday night to less than 15 seconds. But on Saturday morning the Frenchman won back the time and then some and continued carefully to the finish. Ogier and Tänak, his former teammate who said he switched to Toyota to get out of the champion’s shadow, each won four of the 17 stages. Neuville won five, but his speed was not enough to overcome the loss of four minutes while stuck in snow on Thursday night and a puncture on Friday. The 13-round WRC moves to Rally Sweden for round two on 15-18 February. Note: Full Martin Holmes Monte Carlo Rally report to follow. Final Overall Classification  - Rallye Monte-Carlo
1 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC 4:18:55.5
2 O. Tänak M. Järveoja Toyota Yaris WRC +58.3
3 J. M. Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +1:52.0
4 K. Meeke P. Nagle Citroën C3 WRC +4:43.1
5 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +4:53.8
6 E. Evans D. Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC +4:54.8
7 E. Lappi J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC +4:57.5
8 B. Bouffier X. Panseri Ford Fiesta WRC +7:39.5
9 C. Breen S. Martin Citroën C3 WRC +9:06.7
  2018 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings After round 1
1 S. Ogier 26
2 O. Tanak 18
3 J.M Latvala 17
4 K. Meeke 17
5 T. Neuville 14
6 E. Evans 8
7 E. Lappi 6
8 B. Bouffier 4
9 A. Mikkelsen 3
10 C. Breen 2
11 J. Kopecky 1
  2018 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings After round 1
1 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 33
3 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 33
3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 18
4 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 14
Get full, exclusive access for only $6.55/month.
  • Full access
  • Exclusive news
  • Store & Tour discounts

Show Your Support

Author

Recent Posts

Title