WRC - Fifth Consecutive Monte-Carlo win for Ogier & Ingrassia | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WRC - Fifth Consecutive Monte-Carlo win for Ogier & Ingrassia

28.01.18

Rallye Monte-Carlo - Sunday afternoon

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia notched up their fifth consecutive Rallye Monte-Carlo victory this afternoon, their sixth overall win on home soil. The French reigning FIA World Rally Champions arrived back in the Principality 58.3 seconds ahead of Toyota newcomers Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja who finished a career-best on the event. Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila rounded out the podium on what has been one of the trickiest and incident packed ‘Montes’ in years.

After the season-opener Ogier takes an eight point lead over former team-mate Tänak in the Drivers’ Championship with Latvala and Kris Meeke on equal points, one point further behind. M-Sport Ford and Toyota are also on equal points at the head of the Manufacturers’ Championship, 15 points ahead of Citroën who are in turn four points ahead of Hyundai, the team having a disappointing start to their Championship campaign.

With just the final two stages to run, Ogier was able to control the pace and the Frenchman was also aware he didn’t have the optimum tyres to fight for victory in the Power Stage. “It’s been a difficult weekend,” he said. “Often in Monte-Carlo you have to face hard conditions but this was extremely hard. I’ve never struggled so much with tyre choices, but in the end we win and I’m super happy with that. Every driver did mistakes this weekend; I did too – just a few less.”

Tänak was delighted with his performance on his debut outing with the Japanese manufacturer. Not prepared to risk his best finish in Monte-Carlo, the Estonian was relieved to start the season with a top result having had a really good feeling with the car and an almost faultless rally. Latvala was also cautious, determined to start the season on a high and kick start his campaign with important points. 

Behind the leading trio, drama unfolded in the closing two stages. Kris Meeke was able to hold off a charging Thierry Neuville, who won the pair of stages and ultimately came to within 10.7 seconds of overhauling the Briton. Both were set to finish fifth and seventh respectively, until Esapekka Lappi dropped time in the first stage with an off into a snow bank, and then crucially threw away fourth in the Power Stage when he went off the road and plummeted to seventh. Both Meeke and Neuville moved up a position and, with the pace Neuville was setting, he also overhauled Elfyn Evans in the Power Stage to take fifth overall by one second. Bryan Bouffier also had an off-road excursion; he finished eighth with Craig Breen ninth for Citroën. 

Jan Kopecky claimed 10th overall and maximum points in the FIA WRC 2 Championship category, and Enrico Brazzoli won the FIA WRC 3 Championship for two-wheel drive cars.

The FIA World Rally Championship contenders now head to more snow in the Scandinavian forests for Rally Sweden (15-18 February).  

Rallye Monte-Carlo – Final Provisional Classification (subject to scrutineering)

1.   Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia

Ford Fiesta WRC

4hr 18min 55.5sec

2.   Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja

Toyota Yaris WRC

4hr 19min 53.8sec

3.   Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila

Toyota Yaris WRC

4hr 20min 47.5sec

4.   Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle

Citroën C3 WRC

4hr 23min 38.6sec

5.   Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

4hr 23min 49.3sec

6.   Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt

Ford Fiesta WRC

4hr 23min 50.3sec

7.   Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm

Toyota Yaris WRC

4hr 23min 53.0sec

8.   Bryan Bouffier / Xavier Panseri

Ford Fiesta WRC

4hr 26min 35.0sec

9.   Craig Breen / Scott Martin

Citroën C3 WRC

4hr 28min 02.2sec

10. Jan Kopecky / Pavel Dresler

Škoda Fabia R5

4hr 35min 38.5sec