Sebastien Loeb dominates day one of Monte Carlo Rally

Sebastien Loeb utterly dominated the second loop of Monte Carlo Rally stages, with his lead confirmed as 1m20s when timing problems were finally resolved

Sebastien Loeb dominates day one of Monte Carlo Rally

The running order had been unclear for over three hours due to problems with new provider SIT's timing system on stage three.

When accurate results were eventually published, teams' estimates that Loeb now held a 1m20s advantage proved correct.

The world champion, who is only contesting four rallies this year, was quickest by 12 seconds on SS3 and 34s on SS4.

In tricky half-ice, half-dry conditions, Loeb found far more confidence than his rivals.

Although nearest pursuer Sebastien Ogier lost over a minute to Loeb, he still holds second for Volkswagen.

Mikko Hirvonen has progressed from seventh to third ahead of Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo, despite hating the conditions. But the Finn remains 26s off Ogier.

Jari-Matti Latvala raised his game considerably in the afternoon as a set-up change increased his affinity with the VW Polo.

Only 10th after the first loop, Latvala had shot up to fifth by the end of the day.

Evgeny Novikov is now the top M-Sport Ford driver in sixth, just ahead of 2011 Monte winner Bryan Bouffier and Novikov's team-mate Juho Hanninen, who felt he had been too cautious.

Thierry Neuville, another M-Sport runner, was the first frontrunning retirement, dropping out of fifth with a mistake on stage four.

Leading positions after SS4:
Pos  Driver                Team/Car              Time/Gap
 1.  Sebastien Loeb        Citroen             1h39m49.0s
 2.  Sebastien Ogier       VW                   + 1m20.3s
 3.  Mikko Hirvonen        Citroen              + 1m46.7s
 4.  Dani Sordo            Citroen              + 2m01.2s
 5.  Jari-Matti Latvala    VW                   + 2m32.2s
 6.  Evgeny Novikov        Qatar M-Sport Ford   + 2m50.6s
 7.  Bryan Bouffier        PH Citroen           + 2m57.1s
 8.  Juho Hanninen         Qatar M-Sport Ford   + 3m03.5s
 9.  Mads Ostberg          Qatar M-Sport Ford   + 4m45.1s
10.  Martin Prokop         Czech Ford           + 7m11.0s


shares
comments
Timing issues leave WRC teams in the dark on Monte Carlo Rally
Previous article

Timing issues leave WRC teams in the dark on Monte Carlo Rally

Next article

Monte Carlo Rally: World Rally teams furious over timing issue

Monte Carlo Rally: World Rally teams furious over timing issue
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Plus

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Autosport was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success

WRC
Aug 19, 2022
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Plus

How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple

WRC
Jul 18, 2022