Monte Friday Stages
The new WRC season has amazingly started in Monte-Carlo
The new WRC season has just started through the iconic Monte Carlo roads and jet great battles are preannounced, with the current world champion Seb Ogier leading the overall classification and showing his consistency despite two lucky escapes, a spin on Thursday night and one into a ditch during the penultimate test of the day, which cost his lead over former team-mate Ott Tänak almost 40 seconds.
The Estonian Toyota Gazoo Racing driver is now the closest man to Ogier in terms of classification, with two stage wins at his debut event with the Yaris WRC. Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi ended the leg respectively in fifth and fourth position overall.
Third overall is the Spanish crew formed by Dani Sordo and a returning Carlos Del Barrio in the Hyundai i20 WRC #6 which he will share with kiwi Hayden Paddon for the current season. Unlucky start of the Championship for the other two Hyundai drivers, Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville. The Norwegian‘s i20 suffered from a broken alternator which caused him to retire for the rest of the day, while his team-mate lost more than four minutes to the lead during the first Thursday night test after sliding into a snow bank. He ended the day in ninth position overall after showing some good results in the difficult conditions of the last tests of the day.
Unlucky test for Craig Breen too, whose C3 WRC experienced brake problems in the morning stages, which caused him a 10th place at the end of the day. Kris Meeke, in the second C3, is currently in 6th position.
Seventh overall is the Frenchman Bryan Bouffier ahead Elfyn Evans, both in a Ford Fiesta WRC.
In WRC2 class Skoda Motorsport’s Jan Kopecky leads the classification with his Fabia R5. Second overall is Guillaume De Mevius in his 208 R5 ahead former Hyundai Motorsport driver Kevin Abbring.
Two of the protagonists of the rally, the young Finn Teemu Suninen and the Frenchman Eric Camilli both went off the road during the morning stages.