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Bryan Bouffier is leading the famous Rallye Monte Carlo, but it is not quite as big a surprise as some of you might expect.

Hailing from France, Bouffier’s rally career kicked off in 2002 when he won the Volant Peugeot 206 championship. From there he has had a long relationship with the French manufacturer, driving in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) and the European Rally Championship (ERC) for the team.

 

 

Of course he’s competing against World Champion, Sebastien Ogier, as well as the current crop of WRC stars, including Latvala, Ostberg and Hirvonen, but out of the WRC drivers competing, Bouffier is the last driver to have success on the Monte.

He won the event in 2011 when it was a part of the IRC, and finished fifth here this time last year.

Bouffier had his first chance in a WRC car on the Monte Carlo Rally in 2013. Driving a Citroen DS3 WRC, he and co-driver Xavier Panseri finished a very respectable fifth on arguably the most challenging WRC event on the calendar. The drive shows that the 35 year-old can keep the car on the road, post fast stage times and fight well into the top 10.

Bouffier was selected as one of the Hyundai WRC test drivers in 2013 and completed many tests with the new i20 WRC. Unfortunately, he didn’t receive the drive (those drives went to Neuville, Sordo, Hanninen and Aussie Chris Atkinson), however, he may not be too concerned about that now.

Bryan BouffierBouffier is competing in an M-Sport run Fiesta, trying to turn even more heads at this year’s Monte. After the first day he is leading Citroen driver Kris Meeke by 39 seconds, who is closely followed by Robert Kubica.

Bouffier has been the most consistent of the top drivers, and with some great tyre choices (crucial on the Monte) he has the overnight lead.

Driving a privately run Fiesta, can he hang on to claim a momentous victory?

 

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