- Spectator injured, dies later in hospital
- M-Sport came close to a 1-2 rally finish
- ‘Tough to be out first in the snow’ – Ogier
MONTE CARLO, Monaco – Frenchman Sebastien Ogier won the Monte Carlo rally on Sunday after three days of racing in the first WRC event of the season.
In what was his debut for the M-Sport team he took the lead after Thierry Neuville’s car had a rear suspension problem on Saturday.
Ogier, already a four-times World champion, led home Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala by 2min15, the latter giving a podium place to Toyota on its return to WRC after 17 years.
NEXT RALLY SCHEDULED FOR SWEDEN
M-Sport could have had a 1-2 but Estonian Ott Tanak slipped from second after suffering an engine problem on the final stages but he still finished finished third, 2min:57.8 behind Ogier.
It was Ogier’s 39th career win. He said after the finish: “I was hoping to win but to do so in the first race after only a month’s preparation was incredible. Conditions did not make things easy – it was tough to be the first out on to the snow on Friday.”
The second WRC leg will be raced in Sweden over February 9-12.
106-YEAR HISTORY FOR FAMOUS RALLY
Always bad news from a motorsport event was the death later in hospital of a spectator hit by Hayden Paddon’s Hyundai on Stage 1, which was cancelled and the car was withdrawn from the rally.
Rallye Monte-Carlo is the WRC’s jewel in its crown and the oldest in the calendar, having been raced for the first time in 1911 as a promotion for Monte-Carlo as a tourist destination.
Back then, however, competitors started from various European cities before gathering in Monaco.
The 1966 rally is forever burned into rally fans’ brains when the giant-killing Mini Coopers claimed the top three places before being disqualified for alleged infringements of headlight regulations.
Yeah, that was fair…
Result from the 2017 Rally of Monaco on Sunday
1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Ford 4hr03min06
2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Toyota +02min15.0
3 Ott Taenak (Estonia) Ford +02min57.8
4 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Hyundai +03min35.8
5 Craig Breen (Ireland) Citroen +03min47.8
6 Elfyn Evans (Britain) Ford +06min45.0
7 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Skoda +09min32.7
8 Jan Kopecky (Czech Republic) Skoda +12min58.1
9 Stephane Lefebvre (France) Citroen +14min43.8
10 Bryan Bouffier (France) Ford +16min09.4
1 Sebastien Ogier (France) M-Sport World Rally Team – 25
2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Toyota Gazoo Racing – 18
3 Ott Taenak (Estonia) M-Sport World Rally Team – 15
4 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Hyundai Motorsport – 13
5 Craig Breen (Ireland)