Seb Ogier took another WRC win but he didn’t have it all his own way as Kris Meeke pushed him before a cruelly placed rock ended his run- Rallye Monte Carlo
From PR materials
Sébastien Ogier achieved a childhood ambition by winning Rallye Monte-Carlo for a third consecutive season on Sunday afternoon.
The Frenchman joined an exclusive club of drivers to have won the legendary event, the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship, three times in a row. Only Sandro Munari, Walter Röhrl, Tommi Mäkinen and Sébastien Loeb have done likewise.
Ogier, who was born in the rally base of Gap, was greeted by his parents at the finish of the final speed test in the mountains above Monaco to celebrate a 1min 54.5sec victory in his Volkswagen Polo R.
Team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen finished second with Thierry Neuville overcoming transmission troubles to secure a debut podium for Hyundai’s new-specification i20, a further 1min 23.4sec back.
“This rally is the most important of the season for me and it’s so emotional to win here for a third time,” said Ogier. “I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a kid. To win such a difficult rally three times in a row is fantastic, and a real team effort from everyone.”
Ogier eased through the final leg, which included the famous Col de Turini, one of the highlights of the WRC season, and ensured maximum points from the first of the 14 rounds by also winning the final live TV Power Stage.
Norwegian Mikkelsen survived a high-speed spin on Friday to start the final leg 12.5sec ahead of Neuville. But a broken propshaft bearing troubled the Belgian all day and he limped through the final stage with only two-wheel drive.
Mads Østberg finished fourth in a Ford Fiesta RS on his return to the M-Sport squad, ahead of Stéphane Lefebvre, for whom fifth was a career-best result. Dani Sordo overcame handling and suspension problems to complete the top six in another i20.
Ott Tänak finished seventh, despite rolling on Friday, with WRC 2 winner Elfyn Evans, Esapekka Lappi and Armin Kremer completing the top 10.
Broken suspension sidelined Jari-Matti Latvala and Bryan Bouffier while Robert Kubica and Eric Camilli both retired after accidents.
The championship heads to Karlstad next month for Rally Sweden (11 -14 February), the only pure winter round of the championship.
Elfyn Evans bounced back from the disappointment of losing his World Rally Car drive at the end of last season to score a convincing victory in the WRC 2 support category at Rallye Monte-Carlo on Sunday afternoon.
The Welshman was the class of the field in M-Sport’s upgraded Ford Fiesta R5 to win by 2min 13.1sec from Germany’s Armin Kremer. Junior WRC champion Quentin Gilbert made a successful step up to finish third in Citroën’s DS 3 R5.
Evans recovered from an opening stage puncture on Thursday night to win seven stages in a row and build a commanding lead. A second puncture allowed Kremer’s Skoda Fabia R5 into top spot, but Evans was quickly back in front and eased through today’s final leg in the mountains above Monaco.
“I had great fun this weekend and it’s fantastic to score a debut win with the new evolution Fiesta after all the hard work that has gone into it,” said Evans, who was partnered by new co-driver Craig Parry for the first time.
Kremer also suffered punctures during the four-days of competition in the French Alps but he was untroubled today by Gilbert, who struggled with a lack of power after his engine’s water temperature soared last night.
Quentin Giordano finished fourth in a DS 3, despite going off the road under braking on Saturday morning, with the similar car of Yoann Bonato in fifth and Jose Suarez in sixth in a Peugeot 208.
Both Bonato and Suarez won stages, the latter twice setting times in the top six overall.