Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen kick off the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship season in fine style
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia led a clean sweep of the Rallye Monte-Carlo podium for Volkswagen Motorsport this afternoon, the French double World Champions winning the event by nearly one minute. Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila exceeded their own expectations with second overall and Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Floene claimed third in only their second outing in this legendary FIA World Rally Championship event.Today’s route, based around Monte-Carlo, took in just three stages, the second running of the Col St Jean to St Laurent test counting as the Power Stage. Here, Citroën’s Kris Meeke and Sébastien Loeb claimed first and second respectively while Latvala collected one additional point for being third fastest through this single stage. In the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, Volkswagen heads Hyundai, M-Sport and Citroën.Ogier was able to control his pace at the front of the field today, such was his advantage, and the Polo R WRC driver romped to his second consecutive WRC Rallye Monte-Carlo victory. Before the event, Latvala had hoped for a result in the top four, such has been his previous record in the world’s oldest rally, so the Finn was delighted to claim second. Mikkelsen has similarly had a strong event and the Norwegian has barely put a foot wrong over the four days of competition. Mads Østberg came home as the lead DS 3 WRC driver in fourth, following problems experienced by Loeb and Meeke earlier in the event. The two did however set the stages alight today, Meeke winning two stages and Loeb one to finish eighth and 10th respectively in this season-opening event. Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville had a titanic battle to the finish and while Sordo held the initial advantage, the young Belgian overhauled his team-mate in the final stage to take fifth by just eight-tenths of a second. Elfyn Evans recovered from yesterday’s suspension damage to take seventh, and Martin Prokop finished ninth after being overhauled by Loeb. Robert Kubica was the only leading retirement of the day. After a fine event, with a number of fastest stage times, the Pole’s Fiesta RS WRC lost its brakes over the flying finish of the penultimate stage and crashed into a wall.The FIA WRC 2 Championship was won by Stephane Lefebvre and Stephane Prévot, while the Junior WRC Championship win was secured by Quentin Gilbert and Renaud Jamoul, both driving Citroens.The second round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the contenders to the snowy forests of Sweden for the only true winter event in the calendar (12-15 February).Rallye Monte-Carlo – Final Unofficial Results (subject to scrutineering)
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:36:40.22. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +58.03. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +2:12.34. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (DS 3 WRC) +2:43.65. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:12.16. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:12.67. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:23.78. Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena (DS 3 WRC) +8:34.79. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +9:54.810. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) +10:55.6
Sébastien Loeb, 5 – Robert Kubica, 4 – Kris Meeke, 3 – Sébastien Ogier, 2.
SS1 to SS6: Sébastien Loeb
SS7 to SS15 (finish): Sébastien Ogier
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS1. Sébastien Ogier 25 points2. Jari-Matti Latvala 19 points3. Andreas Mikkelsen 15 points4. Mads Østberg 12 points5. Thierry Neuville 10 points6. Dani Sordo 8 points7. Elfyn Evans 6 points8. Sébastien Loeb 6 points9. Kris Meeke 4 points10. Martin Prokop 2 points
1. Volkswagen Motorsport 43 points2. Hyundai Motorsport 20 points3. Volkswagen Motorsport II 15 points4. M-Sport World Rally Team 9 points5. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 8 points6. Jipocar Czech National Team 4 points