2016 Rallye Monte-Carlo: Ogier and Meeke outrun all others
Sebastien Ogier (Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke (Abu Dhabi Total WRT) dominated the first half of 84th edition of Rallye Monte-Carlo. After 8 of 16 special stages they are far ahead all others, with more than a minute advantage in front of third placed Jari-Matti Latvala.
Five stage wins for Ogier, three wins for Meeke
Reigning world champion and Irishman in a French car shared the victories in the opening stages on Thursday’s eve. Ogier was four seconds faster than Meeke on SS1, after that Meeke was 11 seconds faster than Ogier on SS2, so Citroen’s driver was the overnight leader. They also shared wins on six Friday’s stages, with four fastest times for Ogier and two for Meeke. At the end of the second day Ogier is the leader with 9.5s gap ahead Meeke.
“A great battle with Kris today. He’s driving well. I’m happy with my day. Not so bad. Some small mistakes here and there. I’m happy though. A good day,” Ogier sad after Stage 8. “There must me something in this stage that Seb knows! I think he lives about 3km from here, so I’m happy to give him this one. I have no answer to his time. Still a long way to go on this rally,” commented Meeke after Stage 8, on which he lost ten seconds.
Paddon and Kubica crashed on the first Friday’s stage
88 crews started the event from the famous Casino Square on Thurdsay afternoon and all of them survived the difficulties of two night stages. But, the icy conditions on the first Friday’s stage caused the problems for numerous drivers, among them two with WRC cars.
Hayden Paddon‘s Hyundai i20 slid on an ice patch, touched a tree with the rear and pulled off the rear-left wheel. Soon after that Robert Kubica slid off the road and his Ford Fiesta RS WRC hit the tree. Both drivers retired, but it’s expected that they will re-start tomorrow.
Latvala faster than Mikkelsen in a fight for podium
As expected, conditions was difficult, with lots of snow and ice on the asphalt roads. It was easy to make mistakes and for some drivers mistakes were irreparable. On the list of retirements are Eric Camilli (M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC), Lorenzo Bertelli (Ford Fiesta WRC), Ricardo Trivino (Citroen DS3 R5), Jourdan Serderidis (Citroen DS3 R5) and Simone Tempestini (Ford Fiesta R5).
Behind Meeke and Ogier two other Volkswagen drivers fought for third place. Andreas Mikkelsen had a spin on Stage 7 and lost the battle, so Jari-Matti Latvala finished the day on third place, with 1m8s gap behind Ogier. Mikkelsen is 25s behind Latvala.
Evans and Veiby are WRC-2 and WRC-3 leaders
Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) is fifth after eight stages, 14s behind Mikkelsen. Mads Ostberg (Ford), Dani Sordo (Hyundai), Stephane Lefebvre (Abu Dhabi Citroen), Bryan Bouffier (Ford) and Ott Tanak (Ford) rounded Top 10.
Elfyn Evans is the leader in WRC-2 category. Hi was driving Ford Fiesta R5 and earned a minute and a hald advantage ahead of Armin Kremer (Škoda Fabia R5), Third is Julien Maurin, also with Škoda. WRC-3 class leader is Ole Christian Veiby.
Video: Robert Kubica’s crash on Stage 3
All the results from 84th Rallye Monte-Carlo you can find at SnapLap result pages.