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Ogier holds on for famous victory - Video

22 Jan 2017 - Sébastien Ogier eased through the final leg in the mountains above Monaco to claim his fifth Monte success in total by 2min 15.0sec in a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car.
 
 
It was a dream debut for the Frenchman with the M-Sport World Rally Team, for whom this was a first win since November 2012.

Jari-Matti Latvala finished second in a Toyota Yaris on the Japanese manufacturer’s return to the WRC after a 17-year absence.

Final day engine problems for Ott Tänak denied M-Sport a one-two as he slipped to third, a further 42.8sec behind.

Ogier took the lead late on Saturday’s penultimate leg when event-long leader Thierry Neuville broke his Hyundai i20 Coupe’s suspension after an impact.

With a comfortable gap, Ogier took no risks through the final snow-hit speed test over the famous Col de Turini.

“I was hoping to win but to take it from the first rally, after only one month together and with so little preparation, feels really amazing,” he said.

“The conditions didn’t make our life easy this weekend, starting first in the snow on day one and finishing with more and more snow.”

Latvala struggled to find a good rhythm initially but changes to his car’s set-up revitalised the Finn.


Third overnight became second when Ott Tänak dropped time with a broken ignition coil pack in his Fiesta and Latvala sped by.

With no service, Estonian Tänak worked furiously to make repairs and did enough to hold onto third, fending off Dani Sordo’s i20 Coupe with a spirited downhill drive to the finish of the last special stage in falling snow.  

Craig Breen finished fifth in a Citroën DS 3 with Elfyn Evans completing the top six in another Fiesta.

The Welshman won three stages on Saturday to offset a disappointing start when he dropped several minutes in snow and ice. 

More snow and ice are in store for competitors at the second round next month. Rally Sweden is based in Torsby on 9-12 February.

RESULTS, Rallye Monte-Carlo (2017 FIA WRC, round 1): 
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 4:00:03.6
2. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2:15.0
3. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:57.8
4. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai 120 Coupe WRC) +3:35.8
5. Craig Breen / Scott Martin (Citroen DS3 WRC) +3:47.8
6. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +6:45.0
7. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (Škoda Fabia R5) +9:32.7
8. Jan Kopecky / Pavel Dresler (Škoda Fabia R5) +12:58.1
9. Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau (Citroen C3 WRC) +14:43.8
10. Bryan Bouffier / Denis Giraudet (Ford Fiesta R5) +16:09.4
 
FIA WRC Drivers’ Championship (after round 1): 
1. S. Ogier 25
2. J-M Latvala 18
3. O. Tanak 15
4. D. Sordo 13
5. C. Breen 10
6. E. Evans 10
7. A. Mikkelsen 6
8. S. Lefebvre 6
9. T. Neuville 5
10. J. Kopecky 4
 
FIA WRC Manufacturers’ Championship (after round 1):
1. M-Sport World Rally Team 40
2. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC 24
3. Hyundai Motorsport 20
4. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 10

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