Meeke takes the early Monte lead | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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Meeke takes the early Monte lead

The 2016 FIA World Rally Championship kicked off in spectacular style in Monte-Carlo this afternoon, leading into two night stages that saw Kris Meeke power into the lead.

Britain’s Kris Meeke tops the time sheets of Rallye Monte-Carlo, the DS3 WRC driver taking the advantage after the first two night tests in the opening day of competition of the first round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship. After a spin in stage one, where he lost 4.1 seconds to Sébastien Ogier, Meeke reeled the time back in during the second stage to take a 6.9 second advantage into Friday. Ogier had a trouble-free run through both stages and he heads team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen after this evening's 41.63 kilometres of competition.

It was a long day for the crews as the Championship kicked off with a season opening celebration in Monte-Carlo earlier in the day. Sport and entertainment celebrities joined the contenders for spectacular high-speed World Rally Car passenger rides around the harbour area of Monaco’s famous Grand Prix street circuit. The stunning Casino later provided the backdrop for the start ceremony, the teaser to the opening two stages that brought the crews back to Gap for the overnight halt at midnight.

Friday’s first full day of competition takes in two loops of three stages totalling 116.50 competitive kilometres.

Rallye Monte-Carlo – Unofficial Results after Section 1

1.   Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle


25min 32.1sec

2.   Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

25min 39.0sec

3.   Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger Synneväg

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

25min 52.1sec

4.   Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 WRC

26min 03.5sec

5.   Hayden Paddon/John Kennard

Hyundai i20 WRC

26min 07.0sec

6.   Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

26min 07.4sec

7.   Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

26min 10.8sec

8.   Robert Kubica/Maciej Szczepaniak

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

26min 17.9sec

9.   Stephane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau


26min 20.7sec

10. Dani Sordo/Marc Marti

Hyundai i20 WRC

26min 23.9sec