Thierry Neuville took a 7.8sec lead after one stage in Rally Monte Carlo. The first stage was cancelled because of his teammate Hayden Paddon’s crash, after which a spectator died.
“We used the first kilometers to really discover the car in competitive rally conditions for the first time”, explained Neuville. “The stages here are tough, but we have had a decent start. We were probably running the car too soft and it was moving around quite a lot, but the times look encouraging nonetheless. We have more to come and areas where we need to improve, so that will be our focus on Friday’s stages.”
Neuville: The stages here are tough, but we have had a decent start
Sébastien Ogier was second in the stage. The four-time world champion admitted that he definitely was very careful: “It’s always tricky to start Rallye Monte Carlo in the dark, but I think it’s been okay. I definitely took it on the safe side and could have gone faster for sure. But it’s just the first couple of stages. Friday will be a very different day so we’ll discuss with the team and be sure to continue at our best.”
Juho Hänninen (Toyota) took third place, followed by Citroen’s Kris Meeke.
“It’s not how I imagine anyone wanted to start the season, with a stage cancelled because one of the competitors went off. SS2 was tricky, especially due to the gravel dragged onto the racing line by the first few cars. When you’re as cautious as I was, it ends up costing you quite a bit of time. We learned some new things about the car and overall, I’m fairly pleased with this first leg”, Kris explained.
|1.||T. Neuville||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||15:01.1min|
|2.||S. Ogier||Ford Fiesta WRC||+7.8sec|
|3.||J. Hänninen||Toyota Yaris WRC||+15.0|
|4.||K. Meeke||Citroën C3 WRC||+15.8|
|5.||O. Tanak||Ford Fiesta WRC||+19.4|
|6.||E. Evans||Ford Fiesta WRC||+21.0|
|7.||C. Breen||Citroën DS3 WRC||+25.4|
|8.||D. Sordo||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+26.6|
|9.||J. M. Latvala||Toyota Yaris WRC||+28.4|