Rallye Monte-Carlo - Day Three

FIA news bulletin from day 3 of the 2014 Rallye Monte-Carlo
(14-19 JANUARY 2014)


Reigning FIA World Rally Champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia fought back from a difficult opening day of Rallye Monte-Carlo to claim victory in the first round of the FIA World Rally Championship this evening. The French duo finished one minute 18.9 seconds ahead of fellow countrymen Bryan Bouffier and Xavier Panseri, while Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle claimed an impressive third overall in their first full season with Citroën.
In the FIA World Rally Championship, Ogier kicks off the defence of his title with near maximum Championship points and the Volkswagen Motorsport team – adding the points from team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala – heads the leaderboard in the Manufacturers’ Championship by four points over the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
Having arrived in Monaco last night, the crews were today faced with two loops of two stages covering 79.90 competitive kilometres over famous stages in the hills above Monte-Carlo. Weather conditions remained challenging, with a mix of snow over the legendary Col de Turini and pouring rain and fog in the neighbouring Sospel stage. This 16.55 kilometre stage was also the finale of the event, running as the Power Stage where additional points are awarded to the fastest three drivers over this single stage. Here, Latvala, Ogier and Meeke claimed the all-important extra points. 
Ogier started the day in control of the field and set fastest time in the opening two stages to consolidate his lead. Unfortunately, however, as the crews headed through the re-run of the opening test, organisers were forced to neutralise the snow-covered Turini stage when Jaroslav Melicharek blocked the route, stuck in the snow. As a consequence, crews headed directly to the Power Stage for the final run through this treacherously wet and foggy mountain stage. Behind Ogier, Bouffier – a former winner of the event when it was a round of the IRC – had a fine finish and Kris Meeke, who takes his first-ever WRC podium, finished third, 35.4 seconds adrift of Bouffier. Mads Østberg claimed fourth, despite a puncture in the first stage, and Latvala maintained fifth. Mikko Hirvonen had got ahead of M-Sport team-mate Elfyn Evans earlier in the day, but the Finn was forced to retire in the final stage with a broken alternator. Andreas Mikkelsen finished seventh in his debut Rallye Monte-Carlo and, despite blocking the penultimate stage, Melicharek rounded off the top eight.
As is customary on Rallye Monte-Carlo, crews will head to the Place du Palais Princier in the morning for the podium and prize-giving ceremony.
The FIA World Rally Championship crews now head to yet another specialised rally and the only event run exclusively on snow and ice, Rally Sweden (5-8 February).
Rallye Monte-Carlo – Final Unofficial Results (subject to scrutineering)
1. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia
2.   Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri
3.   Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle
4.   Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson
5.   Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila
6.   Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt
7.   Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula
8.   Jaroslav Melicharek/Erik Melicharek
9.   Matteo Gamba/Nicola Arena
10. Yuriy Protasov/Pavlo Cherepin
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Citroën DS3 WRC
Citroën DS3 WRC
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Peugeot 207 S2000
Ford Fiesta R5
3hr 55 min 14.4sec
3hr 56 min 33.3sec
3hr 57 min 08.7sec
3hr 59 min 08.3sec
4hr 01 min 22.7sec
4hr 03 min 51.8sec
4hr 06 min 56.7sec
4hr 17 min 10.6sec
4hr 19 min 05.1sec
4hr 20 min 57.5sec

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers (after 1 of 13 rounds)

Sébastien Ogier (FRA)
Bryan Bouffier (FRA)
Kris Meeke (GBR)
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)
Mads Østberg (NOR)
Elfyn Evans (GBR)
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)
Jaroslav Melicharek (SVK)
Matteo Gamba (ITA)
Yuriy Protasov (UKR)
27 points
18 points
16 points
13 points
12 points
8 points
6 points
4 points
2 points
1 point

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers (after 1 of 13 rounds)

Volkswagen Motorsport
Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
M-Sport World Rally Team
Volkswagen Motorsport II
37 points
33 points
10 points
8 points