Reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier was fastest in the first two special stages of Rally Monte Carlo, held after the ceremonial start on Thursday evening.
The French rider is better than rivals Orient in the twilight on the asphalt special stages covered with ice, and even despite the reversal ahead of nearest rival Andreas Mikkelsen on 17 seconds.
“We knew that on the icy surface during the first stage of possible problems, – commented Ogier dangerous moment at the starting stage. – Before the turn I skidded at a speed of 10 km/h, but luckily managed to stay on the road.”
Partner Mikkelsen team Hyundai of Dani Sordo rounded out the top three, being 11 seconds ahead of the fastest rider of the Toyota Esapekka Lappi, behind which is occupied by his mates Ott Tanak and Jari-Matti Latvala.
The leader of the shakedown Thierry Neuville after the departure of the first special stage took only 17th place with a four-minute behind Ogier.
|1.||Sebastien Ogier||M-Sport Ford WRT||38.09,8|
|2.||Andreas Mikkelsen||Mobis Hyundai Shell WRT||38.27,1||+17,3|
|3.||Dani Sordo||Mobis Hyundai Shell WRT||38.35,4||+25,6|
|4.||Esapekka Lappi||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||38.47,2||+37,4|
|5.||Ott Tanak||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||38.52,2||+42,4|
|6.||Craig Breen||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||39.02,1||+52,3|
|7.||Jari-Matti Latvala||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||39.05,2||+55,4|
|8.||Brian Buffie||M-Sport Ford WRT||40.00,8||+1.51,0|
|9.||Kris Meeke||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||40.32,5||+2.22,7|
|10.||Eric The Camille||M-Sport Ford WRT||40.52,0||+2.42,2|
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