WRC Monte Carlo Jan17-22 talk/results **
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This is a discussion on WRC Monte Carlo Jan17-22 talk/results ** within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Shakedown: Evgeny Novikov posted the quickest time during shakedown for the opening round of the new World Rally Championship season ...

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    Cool WRC Monte Carlo Jan17-22 talk/results **

    Shakedown:
    Evgeny Novikov posted the quickest time during shakedown for the opening round of the new World Rally Championship season in Monte Carlo.

    The M-Sport Ford driver posted a time of 2min 13.0secs to edge out the MINI John Cooper Works of Armindo Araujo, with defending champion Sebastien Loeb third fastest through the 3.58km test to the south of Valence.

    Although his mandatory four runs through the stage passed without issue, Loeb admitted that the weather in the region was cause of concern ahead of the season opener.

    “I am a little apprehensive about this rally, even though I have won it five times before,” he said. “Obviously, it's the weather that complicates matters. We were under the impression that this year's rally would be dry but snow fell before the final day of reconnaissance, which caught everyone by surprise. The work of the early starters will be essential for choosing the right tyres. At Monte-Carlo, there's always a degree of compromise involved in tyre choice and I think that makes the rally pretty exciting!”

    Petter Solberg was fourth ahead of his first outing for Ford in the Fiesta WRC, while team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was sixth; the pair split on the shakedown standings by Citroen's Thierry Neuville.

    Mikko Hirvonen was seventh fastest in the second of the factory Citroens, with the Finn agreeing with his team-mate Loeb that the weather was likely to have a major impact on the weekend – especially given there will be no second chances thanks to the fact that Superally isn't being used.

    read more: crash.net/wrc monte shakedown

    Monte Carlo Rally shakedown times (Top 10):

    1. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC 2min 13.0secs
    2. Armindo Araujo Armindo Araujo MINI John Cooper Works 2min 13.2secs
    3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT Citroen DS3 WRC 2min 13.5secs
    4. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC 2min 13.6secs
    5. Thierry Neuville PH Sport Citroen DS3 WRC 2min 14.0secs
    6. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC 2min 14.0secs
    7. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT Citroen DS3 WRC 2min 14.7secs
    8. Dani Sordo MINI WRT MINI John Cooper Works 2min 14.9secs
    9. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC 2min 15.5secs
    10. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 2min 17.0secs

    All times unofficial

    Listen on: worldrallyradio.com/


    also dunno if i can find the stage times as wrc.com seems "defunct" now but hey i guess we'll play it as we see the news

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    Great to see Solberg back in the mix.
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    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Jari-Matti Latvala has taken a shock Monte Carlo Rally lead after a bold tyre choice for the second stage of the event.

    World champion and five-time Monte winner Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) had been quickest as expected on this morning's Le Moulinon to Antraigues opener, albeit by just one second ahead of the flying Dani Sordo's Mini.

    SS1 had seen dry asphalt, but the following Burzet to St Martial stage featured patches of snow and ice. Loeb and Ford driver Latvala both opted for a mix of studded and slick tyres, placing one studded tyre at the front and one at the rear, diagonally apart.

    While Loeb ran soft tyres, Latvala was on super softs, and despite having never tested the slick/studded combination in this configuration before, he put in an incredible stage time - 52s quicker than Loeb.

    That moved Latvala from fourth place, 28s off the lead, to first - with a 30.5s advantage over Loeb.

    Petter Solberg is third in the second works Ford, having impressively got through SS2 with no studded tyres at all and still been second-quickest, 28s behind Latvala but 24s faster than Loeb.

    After his superb SS1 performance, Sordo clipped a wall and damaged his Mini's suspension on SS2. The Spaniard was still able to nurse his car through the stage and remains fourth overall.

    Mikko Hirvonen was third after SS1 but struggled in SS2's tricky conditions as he continues to acclimatise to the Citroen DS3, leaving him fifth.

    read more: autosport.com/news/97076

    Monte Carl Leading positions after SS2:

    Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
    1. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford 45m54.4s
    2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 30.5s
    3. Petter Solberg Ford + 40.8s
    4. Dani Sordo Mini + 44.1s
    5. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 1m04.0s
    6. Sebastien Ogier VW Skoda + 1m10.9s
    7. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 1m17.1s
    8. Mathieu Arzeno Sainteloc Peugeot + 1m35.7s
    9. Francois Delecour M-Sport Ford + 1m49.3s
    10. Pierre Campana Mini + 2m11.0s


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    Monte Carlo Rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala thanked his Ford team-mate Petter Solberg for his input into the Finn's perfect tyre choice for second stage of the opening day.

    Latvala took 52.7 seconds out of SS1 leader Sebastien Loeb on the Burzet-St Martial test after deciding to run the softest tyres mixed with studded covers. Instead of a conventional front-rear split, Latvala went with slicks on the right-front and left-rear and studs on the other wheels.

    "We had not tested like this," said Latala. "I didn't know what would happen, I was a little bit worried, but Petter had done something like this in Germany [in 2011 with slicks and wets] and he said it would be okay. It was a good decision."

    Solberg was ready to mirror the move, but received a call from Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson just before he went into SS2, telling him to run slicks all around. The area of concern was a four-mile stretch of ice around five miles into the stage.

    "We had soft slicks all the way around," said Solberg, "and this worked. We had made 18 seconds on Loeb through the first seven kilometres, but when we got to the ice, we had to back off - it was very interesting!"

    Read More: autosport.com/news/97078


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    Monte SS3 - Le Moulinon - Antraigues

    stage times/splits

    01 LOEB Sébastien 1 0:23:47:000 --:--:-- --:--:--
    02 LATVALA Jari-Matti 3 0:23:47:400 .... +0:00:00:400 --:--:--
    03 SOLBERG Petter 4 0:23:48:500 .... +0:00:01:500 --:--:--
    04 SORDO CASTILLO Daniel 37 0:23:55:300 ....+0:00:08:300 --:--:--
    05 NEUVILLE Thierry 23 0:23:56:900 .... +0:00:09:900 --:--:--
    06 HIRVONEN Mikko 2 0:24:13:900 .... +0:00:26:900 --:--:--
    07 CAMPANA Pierre 52 0:24:22:500 .... +0:00:35:500 --:--:--
    08 NOVIKOV Evgeny 6 0:24:25:600 .... +0:00:38:600 --:--:--
    09 OGIER Sébastien 15 0:24:25:600 .... +0:00:38:600 --:--:--
    10 TANAK Ott 5 0:24:27:300 .... +0:00:40:300 --:--:--
    11 BOUFFIER Bryan 16 0:24:36:400 .... +0:00:49:400 --:--:--
    12 PROKOP Martin 21 0:24:36:500 .... +0:00:49:500 --:--:--
    13 DELECOUR François 8 0:24:42:700 .... +0:00:55:700 --:--:--
    14 ARAUJO Armindo 12 0:24:51:300 .... +0:01:04:300 --:--:--
    15 BREEN Craig 32 0:25:02:100 .... +0:01:15:100

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    Jari-Matti Latvala crashes out of Monte Carlo Rally lead

    Jari-Matti Latvala has rolled out of the Monte Carlo Rally lead on the final stage of the opening day.

    The Ford driver was half a minute ahead of title rival Sebastien Loeb's Citroen going into the stage, having jumped from fourth to first with an ideal choice of mixed super soft slicks and snow tyres on the snowy and icy SS2 this morning.

    But on the repeat run of the stage this afternoon, Latvala rolled his Ford Fiesta.

    Ford sources suggest that the Finn will be unable to rejoin, and as there is no superally on this event, Latvala's weekend is over. Latvala and co-driver Miikka Antilla are reported to be unhurt.

    Loeb is now set to move into the rally lead ahead of the second Ford of Petter Solberg.

    click: autosport.com/news/97079

    ------------

    Ford technical director Christian Loriaux has confirmed Jari-Matti Latvala has retired from the Monte Carlo Rally.

    The Finn went off the road on the fourth stage today, rolling his Fiesta RS WRC out of the lead. The crew are out of the car and uninjured, but after the Automobile Club de Monaco elected not to run the superally regulation, the Ford team leader's rally is run as he cannot get back on the road.

    "I don't think there was anything wrong with the car, they have just gone off for some reason," said Loriaux.

    "I believe they were just at the beginning of the section of ice on stage four. They would have had diagonal studded tyres on, the same as this morning.

    "It's an accident, this is Monte Carlo and these things happen. It's a shame, Jari was driving well.

    "They say the car's not so bad, but the car's gone over a stone wall and down a little bit, so I would be surprised if the roll cage isn't dented or something like that. I don't think he pushed too hard, it's a genuine incident."

    click: autosport.com/news/97082

    Monte SS4 - Burzet - St. Martial

    stage times/splits

    01 LOEB Sébastien 1 0:20:18:200
    02 DELECOUR François 8 0:20:53:600 ..... +0:00:35:400
    03 SORDO CASTILLO Daniel 37 0:21:00:500 .....+0:00:42:300
    04 SOLBERG Petter 4 0:21:11:600 ..... +0:00:53:400
    05 NOVIKOV Evgeny 6 0:21:19:500 ..... +0:01:01:300
    06 OGIER Sébastien 15 0:21:20:300 ..... +0:01:02:100
    07 TANAK Ott 5 0:21:28:600 ..... +0:01:10:400
    08 ANDERSSON Pergunnar 33 0:21:36:400 ..... +0:01:18:200
    09 SOLBERG Henning 10 0:21:37:500 ..... +0:01:19:300
    10 ABBRING Kevin 17 0:21:46:300 ..... +0:01:28:100
    11 HIRVONEN Mikko 2 0:21:47:800 ..... +0:01:29:600
    12 PROKOP Martin 21 0:22:03:800 ..... +0:01:45:600
    13 ARAUJO Armindo 12 0:22:08:400 ..... +0:01:50:200
    14 CAMPANA Pierre 52 0:22:11:900 ..... +0:01:53:700
    15 WILSON Matthew 9 0:22:27:000 ..... +0:02:08:800

    -----------






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    Last edited by Weasel 555; 01-19-2012 at 09:15 AM.
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    Day 2:

    Stage times/splits SS5 - Labatie d'Andaure - Lalouvesc

    Solberg snatches second


    Petter Solberg has snatched second place from Dani Sordo on Rallye Monte-Carlo after setting a faster time than the Spaniard through Thursday’s opening stage.

    Using a combination of soft and supersoft Michelin tyres on his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Solberg was 2.9s slower than stage winner and rally leader Sebastien Loeb but crucially quicker than Sordo.

    “It was two different tyres each side and it was quite tricky from the start,” said the Norwegian. “But once I got the temperature in the tyres I kept the speed. Everything can happen on this rally so there will be no crazy pushing. The car is fantastic and I’ve got to get the rhythm. But there will be no risks or going over the top. I will keep it steady.”

    Loeb admitted to being too cautious in places amid fears of icy sections during the stage. However, the overnight frost reported by his safety crew had all but dispersed by the time he tackled the stage in his Citroen DS3 WRC.

    “Conditions were okay,” said Loeb. “I had some information for a little frost but finally since the gravel crew went through it had nearly disappeared. I was careful in some places because I expected it to be very slippery but the grip was okay.”

    Dani Sordo was 5.8s slower than Loeb in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC. He said: “At the moment it’s okay. Sebastien is really fast and we will see with Petter. The conditions were much better than I expected.”

    Mikko Hirvonen was fourth fastest in his factory Citroen but remains in sixth overall behind fifth-placed Evgeny Novikov (M-Sport Fiesta). Sebastien Ogier maintains his grip on fourth overall in his Volkswagen Motorsport-run Super 2000-specification Skoda Fabia.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss5




    -------------------

    SS6: Sordo fights back

    Dani Sordo has reclaimed second place on Rallye Monte-Carlo as the battle for the runner-up spot on the world championship season-opener continues to intensify.

    Sordo, in a factory MINI John Cooper Works WRC, was 2.2s faster than rival Petter Solberg, who slips back to third in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. World champion and rally leader Sebastien Loeb won the stage in his Citroen DS3 WRC.

    “I tried to go faster but it was difficult to push in this stage because it was some places very slippery,” Sordo told World Rally Radio. “I tried to do my best.”

    Despite losing second place, Solberg continues to impress on his return to the factory Ford line-up following an absence of more than a decade: “It was okay, no major problem. It’s just very difficult on the ice. I knew it would be tricky. My tyre choice is working well, we lost quite a bit to Loeb but this is how it is.”

    Citroen driver Loeb’s overall lead now stands at 1m9.6s with one stage left before midday service in Valence. He said: “The stages are nearly clean but tricky in some places because they are humid. The tyres were working well in this stage.”

    Mikko Hirvonen has climbed ahead of Evgeny Novikov and Sebastien Ogier into fourth overall after going second fastest through the stage in his Citroen. “This one was a little better,” said the Finn. “It takes a bit of time to find the rhythm and to be confident with the grip level but it’s not too bad. I’m learning all the time and for sure I want to finish the rally.”

    Francois Delecour reported a problem with the intercom in his Fiesta, which made it virtually impossible for him to hear the instructions of his co-driver Dominique Savignoni.

    Briton Matthew Wilson lost a few precious seconds stalling his Go Fast World Rally Team Fiesta at the stage start, while Armindo Araujo said he found it difficult to find optimal braking points in his MINI.

    Sweden’s PG Andersson continues to top the Super 2000 World Rally Championship leaderboard for Proton.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss6

    Stage times/splits SS6




    ------------------

    SS7: Loeb on a charge

    Sebastien Loeb has extended his lead of Rallye Monte-Carlo after winning Thursday’s third stage, which was held in increasingly mild ambient temperatures following overnight frost.

    The eight-time world champion’s advantage out front now stands at 1m23.2s heading to the midday service halt in Valence.

    “The tyre choice was a compromise for this stage because it was mainly dry,” the Citroen ace, who has been fastest on all three stages this morning, told World Rally Radio. “I lost a little bit the grip in the middle part with the [supersoft] tyres but I am satisfied with this loop. My times were good in the first two stages and this one was okay.”

    In the thrilling battle for second place, Ford’s Petter Solberg is back in front of Dani Sordo after edging out his MINI-driving rival through the stage by a 4.0s margin.

    “I’m very happy about that,” said Solberg who now heads Sordo by 3.7s. “It was very tricky, very slippery in some places. I had one very sideways moment but we are driving sensible, that’s the only thing I can say. It’s so important to keep the position now.”

    Sordo, who had moved up to second on stage six, said: “I pushed really, really hard and did not make any mistakes. The time looks bad but I don’t know how.”

    Sebastien Ogier was thrilled with his fourth-fastest time in his Super 2000-specification Skoda Fabia, which is being run by the factory Volkswagen Motorsport team. “On this one it was a fantastic time,” said the seven-time WRC event winner. “We pushed like hell but some places it was still tricky.”

    Francois Delecour said swapping crash helmets with co-driver Dominique Savignoni has helped to solve the intercom problem he has been experiencing.

    Matthew Wilson is planning to alter to the set-up of his Go Fast Fiesta at service after suggesting the handling wasn’t entirely to his liking. Meanwhile, team-mate Henning Solberg said his car’s engine had dropped onto three cylinders in the stage.

    Crews are now heading to Valence for a 30-minute service halt. They will then tackle this morning’s trio of stages for a second time this afternoon.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss7

    Stage times/splits SS7




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    Last edited by Weasel 555; 01-21-2012 at 10:22 AM.
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    Thursday midday wrap

    While Citroen's Sebastien Loeb might hold a comfortable advantage in the battle for victory on Rallye Monte-Carlo, the fight for second place on the legendary World Rally Championship qualifier continues to intensify.

    Ford’s Petter Solberg holds the place after Thursday’s opening three stages - held in mainly dry and increasingly mild conditions - but with Dani Sordo 3.7s behind for MINI the positions are likely to fluctuate for the remainder of the event.

    Despite the close-nature of his battle with Sordo, Solberg insists he’s not taking any risks at the wheel of his Fiesta RS WRC. “We are driving sensible, that’s the only thing I can say,” said the Norwegian. “It’s so important to keep the position now.”

    Sordo started day two in second place but slipped behind Solberg on stage five only to hit back on the very next run. However, he had no answer to his rival on stage seven: “I pushed really, really hard and did not make any mistakes. The time looks bad but I don’t know how.”

    Loeb, whose overall advantage stands at 1m23.2s after seven stages, said he was satisfied with his performance this morning after going fastest on all three tests. “At the moment everything is fine and I have done the three best times,” said the eight-time world champion. “We had a good tyre choice for the first two stages but it was a compromise for the last one. I pushed this morning because I was comfortable to do so but this is Monte-Carlo and anything can happen.”

    Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen is up to fourth for Citroen with Sebastien Ogier continuing to impress in his Super 2000-specification Skoda Fabia in fifth. Evgeny Novikov is sixth after dropping precious time damaging his M-Sport Fiesta’s steering on stage six when he nudged a bank.

    Read More: wrc.com/news/thursday-midday-wrap

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    SS8: Stage best for Sordo

    Stage data: SS8, Labatie d’Andaure-Lalouvesc (19.00 kilometres)

    Dani Sordo said an increase in confidence behind the wheel of his MINI John Cooper Works WRC enabled him to set the fastest time on the rerun of Labatie d’Andaure-Lalouvesc to close up to second overall on Rallye Monte-Carlo.

    Sordo was 0.2s faster than event leader Sebastien Loeb and 2.2s quicker than second-placed Petter Solberg, the 2003 world rally champion.

    “I have more feeling with the car, the road is better and I have more confidence with the soft tyre,” said Spaniard Sordo, who is now 1.5s behind Norwegian Solberg. “I can push more because I also did some small modification in the shocks and also the gearbox [in service].”

    Loeb, at the wheel of a Citroen DS3 WRC, said the stage surface wasn’t entirely to his liking: “It was a bit more tricky with some little mud in some corners because of the cut of some other cars so it was more slippery but it was okay, no problem.”

    Solberg reported making a minor mistake in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC: “It was a very, very tricky stage. I did one mistake, that’s how it is sometimes. I’m happy with the time so no problem. I just locked up in a hairpin and that’s enough to lose the time.”

    Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sebastien Ogier said the dry conditions would rule out further progress in his Super 2000-specification Skoda Fabia. He has slipped to sixth overall behind M-Sport Ford driver Evgeny Novikov as a result. Mikko Hirvonen maintains his grip on fourth in the second factory Citroen.

    The bulk of the leading runners have opted to run on soft-compound Michelin tyres with one spare only for Thursday afternoon’s loop of three stages.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss8

    SS8 Stage Times/Splits



    -------------------

    SS9: Solberg fights back

    Stage data: SS9, St Bonnet-St Bonnet (25.22 kilometres)

    Ford’s Petter Solberg has increased his margin over third-placed Dani Sordo to 2.4s after beating the MINI driver through the ninth stage of Rallye Monte-Carlo.

    Solberg, who has spent the last three seasons competing as a privateer, completed the 25.22-kilometre test in a time of 12m33.2s, which was 1.2s faster than Sordo managed. Afterwards the Norwegian said: “It’s fantastic, I am enjoying so much to drive. It is very difficult conditions and sure we can go quite a lot faster but we still need to learn all the details with the car. I’m happy with my time.”

    Out front, Sebastien Loeb continues to extend his advantage after setting the fastest time in his works Citroen. “For the moment I’m happy with the day but there is still one stage to go,” said the eight-time world rally champion. “The feeling was good, the car is perfect so no trouble. I’m trying to keep a very good speed and not to do any mistake - it’s tricky with the mud on the road.”

    Russian Evgeny Novikov shone with the fourth fastest time, 8.1s off Loeb’s pace, in his M-Sport Fiesta although he suggested at the stage finish that he still has to improve his driving on his Rallye Monte-Carlo debut. He is now 9.4s behind fourth-placed Citroen driver Mikko Hirvonen who was 2.7s slower than Novikov.

    Novikov’s team-mate Ott Tanak recorded the sixth fastest time in his Fiesta, completing the stage in 12m47.4s. Corsican driver Pierre Campana said he was extra cautious in the muddy sections in his factory MINI. He was 0.8s faster than MINI privateer Armindo Araujo from Portugal.

    Henning Solberg completed the previous test with sparks trailing from his Go Fast Energy Fiesta. He reported no problems on this stage, however.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss9

    SS9 Stage Times/Splits



    -------------------

    SS10: Sordo reclaims second as Ogier crashes !

    Stage data: SS10, Lamastre-Gilhoc-Alboussiere (21.66 kilometres)

    Dani Sordo is back into second place on Rallye Monte-Carlo after going 6.1s faster than rival Petter Solberg on Thursday’s final stage. However, there was drama when Sebastien Ogier suffered a high-speed crash in his Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia Super 2000.

    Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were uninjured in the incident approximately five kilometres from the stage finish but their impressive run on the World Rally Championship season-opener - they were sixth overall at the time - is over.

    Elsewhere, a fifth-fastest stage time of the day for Sebastien Loeb means the eight-time world rally champion has grown his overall lead to 1m37.5s.

    Loeb, who took 14m00.1s to complete the test, said: “It was really good, no problem at all. Today was easier than yesterday, more like a normal Tarmac rally but it was still tricky because it was very muddy in places. But I’m feeling good and I will try to push. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow and with the conditions suiting me I tried to take everything I can.”

    Sordo was six seconds slower than Loeb in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC. He told World Rally Radio: “I always lose a lot of time at the first splits but then I take a bit of time and I don’t understand. I try to drive very clean and I will try to continue our battle with Petter tomorrow but the weather may be difficult so we will see.”

    Solberg, who dropped to third in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC after recording a time of 14m12.2s, said: “There was so much mud in some places and I really struggled. That’s the only thing I can think of. We’ve lost second but it’s a long way to go.”

    M-Sport Fiesta driver Evgeny Novikov is now 6.0s behind Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen in the fight for fourth after another solid effort by the young Russian. Hirvonen, meanwhile, said: “In some areas I’m making progress and finding a rhythm but when it’s slippery I don’t have the confidence. But the more mileage I get the more confident I get.”

    Francois Delecour completed the stage with a smoking Fiesta. He was 24.7s down on Loeb’s best time but holds sixth position.

    MINI driver Pierre Campana has overtaken Ott Tanak for seventh after the Estonian’s Fiesta stalled at the stage start and refused to fire up for several seconds.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss10






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  12. #11

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    Thursday wrap:

    Sebastien Loeb has completed day two of Rallye Monte-Carlo with his lead of the FIA World Rally Championship presented by Nokia qualifier firmly intact following another impressive display in his Citroen DS3 WRC.

    Loeb has been fastest on five of Thursday’s six demanding stages to open up a lead of 1m37.5s. After snow and ice caused havoc on day one, drier and milder conditions have prevailed on day two although several drivers reported a build up of mud on the stages making the road surface slippery.

    “Today was easier than yesterday, more like a normal Tarmac rally but it was still tricky because it was very muddy in places,” said Loeb. “But I was feeling good so I tried to push. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow and with the conditions suiting me today I tried to take everything I can.”

    MINI driver Dani Sordo heads Ford’s Petter Solberg in a thrilling battle for second place. Sordo and Solberg have swapped position throughout the day but it’s Spaniard Sordo who will take a slender 3.4s advantage over his Norwegian rival into the third day of the rally.

    Mikko Hirvonen is fourth in the second factory Citroen with Evgeny Novikov closing up in his M-Sport Fiesta. The Russian is 6.0s behind the Finn after a measured performance.

    Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sebastien Ogier started Thursday’s final stage in an impressive sixth overall in his Super 2000-specification Skoda Fabia only to suffer a high-speed crash approximately five kilometres from the stage finish, thankfully without injury to neither he nor co-driver Julien Ingrassia.

    click: wrc.com/news/thursday-wrap

    Overall As of SS10




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  13. #12

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    Friday - SS11: Solberg shines

    Stage data: SS11, St Jean en Roynans-Font d’Urle (23.28 kilometres)

    Petter Solberg has shot ahead of Dani Sordo in the battle for second place on Rallye Monte-Carlo with a sensational performance through Friday’s opening stage.

    Solberg, in a Ford World Rally Team Fiesta RS WRC, completed the run in a time of 12m08.6s to pull 9.5s clear of the Spaniard in the overall standings.

    Meanwhile Sordo, in a MINI John Cooper Works WRC, was fifth fastest, taking 12m21.8s to tackle the run, which was reported to be extremely slippery due to rain.

    With a lead of more than 1m30s starting day three, eight-time world champion Sebastien Loeb could afford to adopt a slightly more cautious approach in his Citroen DS3 WRC. However, he put his time, which was 16.7s slower than the flying Solberg, down to his decision to use studded tyres at the rear and slick tyres at the front in preparation for stage 12, which is understood to be coated in snow and ice in parts when he will be able to bolt on his two spare studded tyres at the front in an effort to achieve maximum grip.

    “I expected to lose much more time because I had two studs and two slicks,” Loeb told World Rally Radio. “But for the next one where the is more ice I have full studs but even with this choice I will have to be very careful.”

    Evgeny Novikov, driving an M-Sport Fiesta, continues to impress on his Rallye Monte-Carlo debut. The Russian set the third fastest time, 8.5s slower than Norwegian Solberg.

    Another standout performance came from French legend Francois Delecour, whose time in a privateer Fiesta was 3.3s off Solberg’s stage best. Estonian youngster Ott Tanak also shone by going fourth quickest in his M-Sport Fiesta, 11.2s slower that the fastest time.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss11

    Stage times/splits SS11




    --------------------

    SS12: Dramatic stage win for Hirvonen

    Stage data: SS12, Cimetiere de Vassieux - Col de Gaudissart (24.13 kilometres)

    Mikko Hirvonen has claimed his first stage victory for Citroen in the World Rally Championship powered by Nokia after going fastest through Friday’s penultimate stage to move into fourth overall.

    The Finn, who switched to Citroen from Ford at the end of last year, made the most of his decision to run a full set of studded tyres on the ice-coated test.

    He is now 36.3s behind third-placed Petter Solberg after the Norwegian struggled through the stage without the luxury of studded tyres on his Ford Fiesta.

    “This time we definitely had the right tyre choice and for once we were brave enough in this car,” said Hirvonen. “It was very, very slippery but there’s still two and a half days to go so it’s game on.”

    Rallye Monte-Carlo leader Sebastien Loeb completed the stage in a time of 15m51.4s, 3.7s slower than Hirvonen while young Corsican driver Pierre Campana impressed with the third fastest time, a 16m05.1s, in his factory MINI, which used a full set of studded tyres.

    “For sure it was the right choice of tyre [with full studs] but even with that it was very difficult to keep the car on the road,” said Loeb. “The conditions changed a lot since my [safety] crew passed but I knew I had the best choice so I just went through. I’m happy to be at the end.”

    Despite electing not to use studded tyres for added grip, MINI driver Dani Sordo was able to move back ahead of Solberg in the overall standings. His advantage heading back to service in Valence is 1m00.6s.

    “It was really, really tricky,” said Sordo, who ran with a full set of ‘winter’ tyres. “We didn’t take tyres with studs and lost a lot in the last part where there was snow and where it was really bad.”

    Solberg started the stage on a high following his fastest time on the previous run but was soon in trouble on stage 12.

    “I had slicks on the rear and no studs on the front and there was so big aquaplaning from the start,” said Solberg. “I almost went off, it was unbelievable. There was so much water and black ice. It was much worse than I expected.”

    Henning Solberg completed stage 12 with damage to the rear of his Go Fast Energy Fiesta following an impact.

    PG Andersson continues to lead the Super 2000 World Rally Championship despite his PROTON’s front windscreen demister failing on the previous test. The Swede said the fault meant it was difficult for him to see the road.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss12

    Stage times/splits SS12




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  14. #13

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    SS13: Hirvonen quickest again

    Stage data: SS13, Montauban sur Ouveze-Eygalayes (29.89 kilometres)

    Mikko Hirvonen has made it two stage wins out of two on day three of Rallye Monte-Carlo to close to within 20.8s of third-placed Petter Solberg on the opening event of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.

    Finn Hirvonen set a time of 17m08.8s through the test as Solberg lost ground after breaking the front-left rim of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC cutting a corner too tightly a handful of kilometres from the stage finish. He reached the stop line nursing a front-left puncture with the fifth best time.

    Sebastien Loeb was second fastest through the stage, 2.9s slower than fellow Citroen DS3 WRC driver Hirvonen. The eight-time world champion will head to the overnight halt in Monaco leading by a commanding 2m12.4s. He said: “It was hard to make the right tyre choice this morning but for this one it was like a normal Tarmac stage. I was not taking any risks.”

    Dani Sordo, in a MINI John Cooper Works WRC, was 3.4s slower than Loeb in fourth position. However, he has increased his advantage over third-placed Solberg to 1m09.8s: “We got a big gap in the stage before,” said Sordo. “It was the first time for me on this stage but it’s unbelievable, really, really nice.”

    Evgeny Novikov shone with the third fastest time in his M-Sport Fiesta, a 17m41.1s. Francois Delecour was sixth quickest in a time of 17m30.8s. Pierre Campana took 17m32.0s to complete the stage with fellow MINI driver Armindo Araujo 3.6s slower.

    Crews are now embarking on the 239-kilometre road section to the overnight halt in Monaco ahead of Saturday’s four stages.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss13

    Stage Times / Splits SS13




    ---------------------------

    Friday wrap:

    Citroen's Sebastien Loeb continues to lead Rallye Monte-Carlo following day three of the thrilling FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia 2012 season-opener.

    Loeb, from the Alsace region of France, has been building his overall advantage ever since his closest rival Jari-Matti Latvala crashed his Ford Fiesta into retirement on Wednesday afternoon.

    Despite his commanding margin of 2m12.4s over second-placed MINI driver Dani Sordo, Loeb said the treacherous conditions that greeted the crews on Friday’s second stage served as a timely reminder of the challenging nature of this rally, which he has won on five occasions in the past.

    “It’s been a very difficult day,” said Loeb, who is chasing a ninth world title in 2012. “It was hard to make the right tyre choice this morning and I was not taking any risks because I really want to get to Monaco tonight so there could be no mistakes now.”

    Ford’s Petter Solberg began day three on a high after winning the opening test to pull clear of Sordo. However, his choice of tyres lacked the necessary grip for stage 12 and he slipped back to more than one minute adrift of his Spanish rival.

    And it got worse for the 2003 world champion when he broke his Fiesta’s front-left wheel rim cutting a corner too tightly nearing the end of stage 13. The Norwegian heads to the overnight halt in Monaco in third overall, 1m06.8s behind Sordo but only 23.8s clear of Mikko Hirvonen, who has impressed with two stage wins today in the second works Citroen.

    Despite his gap over Solberg, Sordo says he has no intention of taking things easy over the event’s five remaining stages. “I need to keep pushing but at the same time not make any mistakes,” he said. “There are four stages tomorrow so anything can still happen.”

    Evgeny Novikov is a solid fifth for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team after another impressive showing by the young Russian. Francois Delecour is sixth with MINI driver Pierre Campana seventh and on course for his second top 10 finish in the World Rally Championship.

    Ott Tanak is eighth with PG Andersson ninth and first in the Super 2000 World Rally Championship category for PROTON. Armindo Araujo completes the top 10 in his MINI with Czech Ford National Team’s Martin Prokop 11th.

    Kevin Abbring in the sole surviving Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia is 12th but under orders to reduce his pace in order to reach the finish. Go Fast Energy’s Matthew Wilson is 13th with team-mate Henning Solberg 14th after he damaged his Fiesta’s right rear wheel on stage 12.

    Craig Breen is 15th despite hitting a bridge in his SWRC-eligible Fiesta. Bryan Bouffier, who won Rallye Monte-Carlo when it ran outside of the WRC in 2011, is 16th in his Peugeot 207 S2000. Michal Kosciuszko from Poland continues to lead the Production Car World Rally Championship standings in his Mitsubishi Lancer.

    click: wrc.com/news/friday-wrap


    Overall After SS13



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  15. #14

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    Saturday
    SS14: Hirvonen closes on Solberg


    Stage data: SS14, Moulinet-La Bollene Vesubie (23.41 kilometres)

    Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen continues to edge closer to Petter Solberg in the battle for third position on Rallye Monte-Carlo after he went 1.7s faster than his Ford rival on Saturday’s first stage, which crossed over the classic Col de Turini.

    Hirvonen, whose time through the stage was 15m38.4s, is now 22.1s behind the Norwegian in the overall standings. “I was driving quite safely and still did that time,” the Finn told World Rally Radio. “I’m not sure it will be enough but I’m getting more familiar with the car.”

    Norwegian Solberg said: “It was a really, really good stage - this is the most fun stage I’ve had for a long time. It was just proper.”

    With an overall advantage of more than two minutes, Sebastien Loeb said the biggest challenge he faces is maintaining his concentration behind the wheel of his Citroen DS3 WRC. He completed the stage, held in dry and mild conditions, in a time of 15m40.3s.

    “I didn’t take any risks, I’m just trying to find the right rhythm and to be concentrated,” said Loeb. “But it’s really difficult to find the right rhythm when all you have in your mind is not to make no mistakes. It’s the first time I’ve been through that stage with absolutely no snow or damp places.”

    Dani Sordo, in second overall, said he wasn’t entirely happy with the set-up of his MINI John Cooper Works WRC, complaining the car was “slow and heavy” to react. The Spaniard said he also drove “too carefully”.

    Evgeny Novikov said he wasn’t happy with his choice of soft compound tyre. M-Sport team-mate Francois Delecour reported a powersteering glitch from the stage start on his Fiesta, while MINI driver Pierre Campana reported an intercom problem in the closing three kilometres of the run.

    Czech Ford National Team’s Martin Prokop has moved ahead of Armindo Aruajo after the MINI driver said his tyres were more worn than he would have liked at the stage finish.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss14

    SS14 Stage Times / Splits



    -------------------

    SS15: Solberg fights back

    Stage data: SS15, Lantosque-Luceram (18.81 kilometres)

    Petter Solberg has hit back in the battle for third place on Rallye Monte-Caro by setting the fastest time on Saturday’s second stage.

    The Ford driver was coming under pressure from Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen prior to the run. He took 12m57.0s to complete the stage, 8.4s faster than Hirvonen, to pull 30.5s clear of his rival.

    “I’m just trying to keep my third place for Ford, that’s the main thing for me,” Solberg told World Rally Radio. “We have to be realistic. I lost a couple of seconds with a mistake close to the finish. The car is working very well I must say, I feel very comfortable.”

    Hirvonen said he lost confidence on the damp sections of the stage, adding: “Petter pushed hard, I was not so confident on the damp and took it a bit steady. That’s not so good for the podium but I didn’t want to take any chances. It’s going to be tough for the podium now.”

    Sebastien Loeb was equal on time with Hirvonen and now leads the World Rally Championship qualifier by an impressive margin of 2m20.7s in his factory Citroen.

    “There was some humidity in some places but no problem,” said Loeb. “The goal is not the same when you are fighting, you try to brake not too late, not as late as possible.”

    Spain’s Dani Sordo was fourth quickest on the stage and remains second overall for the MINI WRC Team. However, he was at a loss to explain why he couldn’t go faster after completing the stage in a time 12.5s slower than Solberg managed. As a result his advantage over the third-placed Norwegian has been trimmed to 39.9s.

    Francois Delecour was fifth quickest through the stage despite a powersteering problem hampering him behind the wheel of his M-Sport Ford Fiesta.

    Bryan Bouffier, in a Super 2000-specification Peugeot 207, was a sensational seventh fastest. The French driver won Rallye Monte-Carlo last season when it ran outside of the World Rally Championship schedule.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss15

    SS15 Stage Times / Splits



    --------------------

    Saturday Midday Wrap

    While Sebastien Loeb might be edging towards his sixth victory on Rallye Monte-Carlo, the final podium positions remain up for grabs with three stages of this thrilling World Rally Championship season-opener left to run.

    Driving a Citroen DS3 WRC, Loeb leads the legendary rally by 2m30.7s following Saturday’s opening brace of stages in the mountains above Monaco. Despite his comfortable margin out front, Loeb said he must continue to maintain his focus and not make any mistakes.

    “I didn’t take any risks, I’m just trying to find the right rhythm and to be concentrated,” said Loeb. “But it’s really difficult to find the right rhythm when all you have in your mind is to make no mistakes.”

    Dani Sordo started day four with second position all but guaranteed. However, the Spaniard said he struggled for pace on stages 14 and 15 and was unable to pinpoint exactly why he couldn’t go faster in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC. As a result his advantage over third-placed Ford driver Petter Solberg has been trimmed to 39.9s.

    Solberg, in a factory Fiesta RS WRC, was coming under pressure from Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen after the Finn won stage 14. But with Hirvonen reporting a lack of confidence on the damp patches on stage 15, which Solberg won, the Norwegian is now 30.5s clear of Hirvonen prior to the two night stages getting underway.

    M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver Evgeny Novikov continues to shrug off his lack of Rallye Monte-Carlo experience to hold a strong fifth place on his first appearance on the event. The Russian is 1m36.1s clear of former Monte-Carlo winner Francois Delecour, whose similar car has been hit by a powersteering problem.

    read more:wrc.com/news/saturday-midday-wrap

    Overall as of SS15




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  16. #15

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    SS16: Solberg closes on Sordo

    Stage data: SS16, Moulinet-La Bollene Vesubie (23.41 kilometres)

    A second fastest stage time in succession has propelled Petter Solberg ever closer to second-placed Dani Sordo on Rallye Monte-Carlo. Meanwhile, a spin for Mikko Hirvonen has all but ended his chances of snatching a podium finish on the opening event of the World Rally Championship season.

    Solberg took 15m45.5s to complete the stage in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. He is now 30.8s behind Sordo’s MINI John Cooper Works WRC with two stages remaining.

    “It was very good, no major problems at all,” said Solberg. “I took it a little careful on the downhill with no risk. It was a fantastic stage and it was a dream feeling.”

    Dani Sordo, who was 9.1s adrift of Solberg’s pace, said his decision to use a soft compound tyre resulted in a few handling issues nearing the stage finish. However, the MINI WRC Team driver said he was more satisfied than he was after the first run through the stage this afternoon.

    “I’m quite satisfied,” said Sordo. “The feeling with the car was good, the tyre was a little too soft and the car was moving a lot but it wasn’t bad and I’m happy.”

    Hirvonen, who was 13.5s slower than Solberg through the stage after dropping nine seconds with a spin in his Citroen DS3 WRC, said: “We spun at the start of the stage and I lost the rhythm. It was a first-gear corner and the tyres were a bit cold. It was a stupid mistake.”

    Event leader Sebastien Loeb said he relished the atmosphere created by the thousands of fans watching on the stage. The eight-time world champion was second fastest, 2.2s slower than Solberg to lead overall by 2m37.6s.

    “It was a very good stage, very good condition and nearly dry,” said Loeb. “It was a real pleasure to drive and there was a great atmosphere with a lot of spectators. I really enjoyed it.”

    With the powersteering problem on his M-Sport Fiesta cured at service in Monaco, Francois Delecour set the third fastest time, 4.5s slower than Solberg.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss16

    SS16 Stage Times / Splits




    -------------------

    BREAKING NEWS: Andersson in trouble

    PG Andersson's hopes of winning the Super 2000 World Rally Championship section of Rallye Monte-Carlo appear to be over with reports that he's stopped in stage 16.

    The Swede was leading the SWRC by a comfortable margin but is understood to have suffered a mechanical problem.

    Kevin Abbring, running one place behind Andersson, reported the PROTON had stopped with a small fire after a hairpin.

    Craig Breen, who moves into the class lead, said: “It’s very unfortunate for him and it’s not the circumstances I wanted to take over the lead.”

    click: wrc.com/news/andersson-in-trouble

    -------------------

    SS17: Sordo holding on

    Stage data: SS17, Lantosque-Luceram (18.81 kilometres)

    Petter Solberg has taken yet more time out of Dani Sordo on Rallye Monte-Carlo but with a margin of 18.3s over the Norwegian, Spaniard Sordo believes he has enough of a gap to hold the position heading into the final day of Rallye Monte-Carlo on Sunday.

    “Petter needs to push a little harder because I think we have enough of a gap now,” MINI driver Sordo told World Rally Radio after setting a time of 13m17.5s on Saturday's final stage.

    Solberg was fastest through the stage in 13m05.0s in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, 12.5s quicker than Sordo. “Everything is so nice and easy - it’s great,” said Sordo. “Okay we had to be a bit careful in the damp areas but I’m so happy and I’m really enjoying this rally.”

    Sebastien Loeb kept his overall lead firmly intact with the second fastest stage time in his Citroen DS3 WRC, 7.7s down on Solberg.

    Francois Delecour was third fastest in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta with Pierre Campana impressing with the fourth quickest time in his factory MINI.

    In the battle for ninth position, Martin Prokop continues to keep Armindo Araujo at bay after they both took 13m32.5s to complete the stage.

    Crews are now heading back to Monaco for service and the overnight halt. The final test, the 5.16-kilometre Power Stage, gets underway on Sunday at 10:11hrs local time.

    click: wrc.com/news/monte ss17

    SS17 Stage Times / Splits




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