Yohan Rossel has taken the WRC2 win at the 91st Rallye Monte-Carlo on Sunday 22 January after FIA event stewards handed Nikolay Gryazin a five-second penalty, dropping him to second.
Gryazin, who led the Monaco-based fixture from start to finish, topped the timesheets by just 4.5sec from Rossel at the final control on Sunday afternoon.
However, Rossel’s PH Sport team later lodged a protest against the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 driver, claiming Gryazin had breached Article 19.2 of the 2023 FIA WRC Sporting Regulations by cutting a corner 13.2km into SS14 on Saturday evening.
After reviewing the evidence submitted and checking onboard footage from Gryazin’s car, event stewards upheld the protest – penalising Gryazin by 5.0sec, making Rossel the victor by just 0.5sec.
It is a bittersweet victory for Rossel. At EKO Acropolis Rally Greece in 2021, the Citroën C3 driver found himself on the receiving end of penalties when he was denied victory after his car failed post-event scrutineering.
Image: 2023 WRC - Rallye Monte-Carlo - Yohan Rossel/Arnaud Dunand, PH Sport Citroën C3 (photo DPPI)