WRC Monte Carlo: Ogier seals record eighth event win

Toyota's Sebastien Ogier has begun his final World Rally Championship campaign by sealing a record eighth Monte Carlo victory and the 50th WRC win of his career

WRC Monte Carlo: Ogier seals record eighth event win

The defending drivers' champion broke the record of seven Monte Carlo wins set by his former nemesis, Sebastien Loeb, and also equalled Walter Rohrl's 37-year-old record of winning the WRC's blue riband event with four different manufacturers during his career.

A single loop of two stages run twice apiece greeted the field on their final morning, with crystalline skies and a healthy dose of snow and ice to conjure the classic Monte Carlo backdrop.

Ogier claimed victory on three of the four stages, including the all-important powerstage with its five additional points to be added to both his own score and, for the first time in WRC history, to the manufacturers' championship total as well.

Britain's Elfyn Evans finished second, completing a 1-2 finish for Toyota overall and a 1-2-3 in the powerstage points.

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville fought back from a difficult first couple of days to lead resistance against the Toyota juggernaut, finishing in an eventual third place overall alongside rookie co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe.

The Belgian took a blistering win on the penultimate test of the day but chose to settle for the bottom step of the podium rather than attempting to put pressure on Evans for second.

Kalle Rovanpera's Toyota finished fourth with the Hyundai of Dani Sordo splitting him from the fourth Yaris of Toyota junior driver, Takamoto Katsuta.

At the finish line in Entrevaux, Ogier was brim-full of emotion as he celebrated such a landmark achievement. "It's not a bad end of the weekend," he said.

"The car's been amazing, I really enjoy the weekend, it's been such a pleasure so I think I almost have tears in my eyes now.

"I think it was a good decision to do one more year, the team is great, such a huge thanks I want to give to all of you."

M-Sport's chances of getting on the podium disappeared off the side of a mountain on the opening stage of the rally, alongside the Fiesta WRC of Teemu Suninen.

This left Gus Greensmith to fight on alone to finish in eighth place as the last of the top runners after a performance that he wants to put behind him as soon as possible.

Seventh place overall went to the dominant winner of the WRC2 category, Andreas Mikkelsen, at the wheel of his Tok Sport Skoda Fabia.

Like Ogier, the Norwegian veteran started the event as odds-on favourite and put pressure on himself to dominate the category in his bid to return to a works WRC seat for 2022.

In WRC3, Yoann Rossel survived a late scare after his right rear tyre came off the rim less than half way through the final stage but had enough in hand over his fellow Citroen drivers to claim the win.

WRC Monte Carlo final result

Pos Class Driver Team Gap
1 RC1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 2h56m33.7s
2 RC1 Elfyn Evans, S.Martin Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 32.6s
3 RC1 Thierry Neuville, M.Wydaeghe Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 1m13.5s
4 RC1 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen 2m33.6s
5 RC1 Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 3m14.2s
6 RC1 Takamoto Katsuta, D.Barritt Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 7m01.3s
7 WRC2 Andreas Mikkelsen, O.Floene Toksport WRT 7m23.6s
8 RC1 Gus Greensmith, E.Edmondson M-Sport Ford WRT 8m21.1s
9 WRC2 Adrien Fourmaux, R.Jamoul M-Sport Ford WRT 9m15.8s
10 WRC2 Eric Camilli, F-X.Buresi Sports & You 10m36.0s
11 WRC3 Yohan Rossel, B.Fulcrand 11m47.1s
12 WRC2 Nikolay Gryazin, K.Aleksandrov Movisport SRL 11m59.6s
13 WRC3 Yoann Bonato, B.Boulloud 12m56.3s
14 WRC3 Nicolas Ciamin, Y.Roche 14m50.2s
15 WRC2 Marco Bulacia Wilkinson, M.Der Ohannesian Toksport WRT 16m15.4s
16 RC1 Pierre-Louis Loubet, V.Landais Hyundai 2C Competition 18m16.4s
17 WRC2 Sean Johnston, A.Kihurani Sainteloc Junior Team 20m25.8s
18 RC2 Olivier Burri, A.Levratti 20m42.5s
19 WRC3 Hermann Neubauer, B.Ettel 21m25.1s
20 RC2 Kevin Abbring, P.Tsjoen 21m59.6s
21 WRC3 Cedric De Cecco, J.Humblet 24m17.1s
22 RGT Cup Manu Guigou, A.Coria 29m28.4s
23 WRC3 Davy Vanneste, K.D'alleine 30m48.9s
24 RC2 Jerome Chavanne, P.Blot 31m28.2s
25 RGT Cup Raphael Astier, F.Vauclare 31m35.6s
26 WRC3 Johannes Keferbock, I.Minor 32m05.9s
27 RC2 Daniel Alonso Villaron, A.L.Fernandez 35m23.3s
28 WRC3 Giacomo Ogliari, L.Granai 36m20.5s
29 WRC3 Cedric Cherain, S.Prevot 36m35.7s
30 RC4 Nicolas Latil, J.Degout 37m02.0s
31 WRC3 Tom Williams, G.Ascalone 41m08.7s
32 RGT Cup Cedric Robert, M.Duval 45m41.9s
33 RC2 Carlo Boroli, M.Imerito 46m23.8s
34 RC4 Thibault Lefebvre, M.Lacruz 47m49.1s
35 WRC3 Miguel Diaz-Aboitiz, D.Sanjuan 50m23.2s
36 RC2 Pascal Eouzan, P.Eouzan 50m25.0s
37 RC4 Frederic Roussel, G.Dini 50m31.3s
38 RGT Cup Pierre Ragues, J.Pesenti 50m54.0s
39 RC5 Timothy Van Parijs, K.Heyndrickx 51m01.5s
40 RC4 Sacha Althaus, L.Zbinden 51m58.4s
41 RC5 Benoit Verlinde, J.Claerhout 52m14.1s
42 RGT Cup Philippe Baffoun, A.Dunand 52m41.1s
43 WRC2 Enrico Brazzoli, M.Barone Movisport SRL 52m48.6s
44 WRC3 Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio, M.Bosi 53m58.8s
45 RC4 Jerome Aymard, S.Aymard 56m10.1s
46 RC2 Philippe Roux, C.Roux 56m35.3s
47 RC5 Gilles Michellier, C.Richard 58m50.2s

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Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier
Author Nick Garton
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