Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have secured the win on Rallye Monte-Carlo, for the sixth time in a row.
The Frenchman won the rally 2.2 seconds in front of a hard-charging Thierry Neuville. Ogier started the last day of the event battling intermittent engine problems but still managed to finish the second power stage 1.7 seconds faster than Neuville, putting him into a winning position and Citroën to the top of the championship standings. The win was especially sweet for the French manufacturer as they celebrated their 100th win in their 100th anniversary year.
Neuville made a mistake in SS7 that cost him crucial seconds, gifting Ogier the space he needed to take the victory. Early rally leader Ott Tänak put in a spirited drive, taking several stage wins and ended the event in third place, beating Jari-Matti Latvala and Sébastien Loeb to the podium.
Driving the Hyundai competitively for the first time Sébastien Loeb grabbed a pair of stage wins on the way to finishing fourth overall.
Latvala was fifth, dropping in the rankings on the final day; the Finn complaining about his driving and the set-up of the car.
His new teammate Kris Meeke finished sixth in his Toyota debut after suffering from tyre trouble on Saturday. Nonetheless, the driver from Northern Ireland won the final Power Stage to secure five bonus points, which put him fourth in the championship.
The UK’s Gus Greensmith claimed seventh overall as well as the winner’s spot for M-Sport Ford WRT in the newly created FIA WRC 2 Pro category, one place ahead of Yoann Bonato in eighth, who took the FIA WRC 2 win. Stephane Sarrazin and Adrien Formaux completed the top 10.
Retirements included Esapekka Lappi, who faced mechanical problems, as well as Andreas Mikkelsen and Elfyn Evans, who both made driving mistakes.
Next up on the FIA Rally Championship calendar is Rally Sweden from the 14th to the 17th of February, a classic winter event that ventures deep into the frozen and remote forests of Sweden and Norway.
|1||Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia||Citroen C3 WRC||3hr 21min 15.9sec|
|2||Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 21min 18.1sec|
|3||Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 23min 31.1sec|
|4||Sebastien Loeb / Daniel Elena||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 23min 44.1sec|
|5||Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 23min 45.8sec|
|6||Kris Meeke / Sebastian Marshall||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 26min 52.1sec|
|7||Gus Greensmith / Elliott Edmondson||Ford Fiesta R5||3hr 34min 20.5sec|
|8||Yoann Bonato / Benjamin Boulloud||Citroen C3 R5||3hr 35min 12.4sec|
|9||Stephane Sarrazin / Jacques-Julien Renucci||Hyundai i20 R5||3hr 35min 22.7sec|
|10||Adrien Fourmaux / Renaud Jamoul||Ford Fiesta R5||3hr 37min 19.3sec|