Spectator killed on the opening stage of Rallye Monte Carlo
The 2017 World Rally Championship season doesn’t start well. The premiere of the brand new 380hp World Rally Cars at the 85th edition of Rallye Monte Carlo turned into a tragedy on the first stage of the event on Thursday night. Hayden Paddon crashed out his #4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC near the end of the stage, hitting the spectator who was standing on the forbidden place. The spectator was transported by helicopter from the stage to hospital in Nice. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff, the spectator has sadly died.
The first stage was immediatelly cancelled. Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier were the only two drivers to complete the opening stage before Paddon’s accident. Neuville was 0.7 seconds faster than Ogier. All the other crews who were running behind the accident have been awarded a notional time for SS1, same as Ogier’s time.
One more night stage took place couple of hours later, between Bayons and Breziers. On the 25.49-km long stage the fastest was Paddon’s teammate Thierry Neuville in the #5 car. He spent 15 minutes 01.1 seconds on the stage, 7.8 seconds less than defending world champion Sebastien Ogier in the #1 Ford Fiesta WRC. The third fastest on the Stage 1 was Juho Hanninen in the #11 Toyota Yaris WRC. All four new cars were represented among top scorers as Kris Meeke was the fourth fastest in the #7 Citroen C3 WRC.
The event will resume on Friday with six special stages in total length of 160.80 kilometers.