WRC Monte Carlo Rally: Thierry Neuville holds provisional lead

Thierry Neuville is the unofficial leader of the 2017 World Rally Championship-opening Monte Carlo Rally, after a first night disrupted by a crash for his Hyundai team-mate Hayden Paddon

WRC Monte Carlo Rally: Thierry Neuville holds provisional lead

Neuville beat Sebastien Ogier - now driving for M-Sport - by 0.7 seconds on SS1.

But Paddon's crash behind meant the stage was cancelled, sending the classification for the rally into disarray.

Not far from the end of the first stage run for the WRC's dramatic new rules package, Paddon crashed on a medium-speed left hander as he lost control on a patch of ice.

A spectator was involved and taken to hospital but Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were unscathed.

Neuville then increased his advantage substantially on SS2, managing a time 7.8s quicker than Ogier to cement his lead.

The order behind is clouded as drivers are likely to receive a notional time for SS1 after they were held up by Paddon's crash or unable to contest the stage at all.

They are likely to be classified in the order they finished SS2, which means Juho Hanninen will hold a shock third place in the new Toyota Yaris after running way down the order.

He was reshuffled behind the WRC2 cars after the SS1 disruption, and made the most of his position on the road.

Elfyn Evans - returning to top class WRC machinery with DMACK after a year competing in WRC2 - was also moved back down the start order with Hanninen but could only manage sixth quickest.

Kris Meeke will likely hold fourth in the leading Citroen, showing no sign of worry at Neuville's apparent superiority at stage end.

Ott Tanak - team-mate to Ogier this year - took fifth, reporting difficulty in finding a rhythm on the stage..

Incredibly, Craig Breen completed SS6 less than 10s down on his team-mate Meeke despite still being in Citroen's previous-generation DS3 on this event.

Dani Sordo took eighth on SS2, while ninth-fastest Jari-Matti Latvala rued not pushing hard enough on the icy sections of the tricky test on his Toyota debut.

WRC2 leader Andreas Mikkelsen rounded out the top 10 in his Skoda Fabia R5.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS2:

-

shares
comments
Hayden Paddon crash halts Monte Carlo Rally's opening stage

Previous article

Hayden Paddon crash halts Monte Carlo Rally's opening stage

Next article

Spectator dies after Hayden Paddon's Monte Carlo Rally WRC crash

Spectator dies after Hayden Paddon's Monte Carlo Rally WRC crash
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
15 h
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021