Find out more about our subscriptions

Hanninen dominates Monte day one

Juho Hanninen, Skoda, Monte Carlo 2011Juho Hanninen holds a commanding 44.5-second lead over Freddy Loix at the end of the opening day of the Monte Carlo Rally.

Last year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion was quickest on the first of this afternoon's two runs through the St Bonnet stage, then just 0.8s slower than stage winner and fellow Skoda driver Loix on the repeat.

Loix's stage win pulled him clear of leading Peugeot driver Petter Solberg in their battle for second place. Solberg had looked to be on course for the fastest time at the opening splits, before a small mistake and subsequent over-caution cost him time.

Solberg ends the day 10.8s behind Loix and 0.2s ahead of fourth-placed Stephane Sarrazin, who fell away from his morning pace on the second loop.

Guy Wilks is now fifth for Peugeot UK, with Jan Kopecky raising his pace in the works Skoda to move push Bryan Bouffier (Peugeot) down to seventh.

1994 Monte winner Francois Delecour continues to keep pace with the younger drivers and set very solid times despite his eight-year absence from top-level rallying. He holds eighth place at present and any pressure from behind was removed when Bruno Magalhaes crashed on today's final stage.

After finishing the morning in ninth, punctures on both this afternoon's stages cost Giandomenico Basso several minutes. Toni Gardemeister also fell further down the order with tyre damage on his Peugeot during SS3. The pair are now 13th and 15th, split by impressive ex-Formula 1 man Alex Caffi, with Nicolas Vouilloz 12th after his SS1 delay.

Pos  Driver                 Car        Time/Gap
 1.  Juho Hanninen          Skoda    1h11m33.4s
 2.  Freddy Loix            Skoda       + 44.5s
 3.  Petter Solberg         Peugeot     + 55.3s
 4.  Stephane Sarrazin      Peugeot     + 55.5s
 5.  Guy Wilks              Peugeot   + 1m18.7s
 6.  Jan Kopecky            Skoda     + 1m26.3s
 7.  Bryan Bouffier         Peugeot   + 1m36.2s
 8.  Francois Delecour      Peugeot   + 1m52.4s
 9.  Jean-Sebastien Vigion  Peugeot   + 3m11.3s
10.  Julien Maurin          Ford      + 3m53.2s
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Skoda: Mikkelsen learned from error
Q & A: Wilks on Monte Carlo
Peugeot defends Monte team orders
Elena thrilled to finish Monte
Solberg impresses Peugeot in Monte
Sarrazin hands podium to Wilks
Solberg retires on final road section
Bouffier clinches Monte Carlo victory
Bouffier closes on Monte Carlo win
Bouffier extends Monte Carlo lead
Bouffier leads into final day of Monte
Bouffier takes lead amid snow chaos
Hanninen: Solberg isn't beaten yet
Solberg willing to gamble for victory
Snow prompts Monte tyre dilemma
Hanninen stays on top in Monte Carlo
Andersson upbeat despite early exit
Delecour: S2000 is not easy
Q & A: Hanninen on his Monte start
Caffi enjoying rallying debut
Hanninen thrilled with 'perfect start'
Solberg says he's still settling in
Flying Hanninen takes Monte lead
Heavy snow expected for Monte finish
Mikkelsen delayed in early incident
Q & A: Mikkelsen on his Skoda debut