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Old 01-16-2013, 08:08 PM   #26
meebs
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Originally Posted by wvallwheeldrive View Post
I think its because everybody before Loab had other legands they where rallying against. Gronholm was the last real challenge that Loab had. Also the amount of factory team have dwindled to almost no exsistant, where as say Tommi in the Misubishi had, Fords, Hyandai, Subaru, Peugeot, Toyota, Lancia even Skoda most with at least 1 big name championship winning driver in them and he still won 5 drivers titles.
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Originally Posted by chimchimm5 View Post
I've only followed WRC in the last decade.

I'm wondering why it seems that a legend like Loeb isn't adored like most of the previous legends out there. Sure he has a huge fan base, but there's a lot of groaning too. Or is that because of the eroding series....
I've only followed it for the past 13 years myself.

I think guys hit the nail on the head. The erosion of manufacturer support played a big role in his success for sure, but I would temper that by saying Loeb is/was an immense talent. I think 2005 was probably the last year where the field felt deep...he won that year and the year before. Then everyone started to pack up and leave as years went on, and that's where it became easier for him.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:37 PM   #27
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Most certainly Loeb is the best rally driver of his generation by a huge margin;
I think the first day of Monte Carlo proves that. I was just trying to say that having Ogier back this year made his move to GT3 a little easier.

Seeing all of the snow/ice has made me really excited for Sno*Drift next weekend that's for sure.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:57 AM   #28
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^meebs & bigusnickus thanks for joining in much appreciated.

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


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

Day 2
SS5: Ogier fastest




Having started Rallye Monte-Carlo with a fastest time on Wednesday’s opening stage, Sebastien Ogier did the same this morning, taking the second stage victory for the new Polo R on the 19km snow-covered SS5.

Ford Fiesta RS driver Evgeny Novikov was second fastest, 2.9sec slower than Ogier, with rally leader Sebastien Loeb 5.4sec off Ogier’s pace in his Citroen DS3.

Weather conditions in the Valence service park were clear and crisp with a temperature of -3 degrees Celsius as teams carried out the pre-stage 20-minute service. Sixty-four kilometres away at the start of SS5 however the temperature had plunged to -10 degrees.

In contrast to the mixed dry and ice-covered stages of day one, SS5 was more consistent, with seventy percent of the stage covered in packed snow. The studded winter tyre was the preferred choice, with many drivers electing to ration their supply of 20 by reusing some of the ones they had used on day one.

“That’s a great start,” said Ogier. “Very good conditions. Very slippy but fun to drive.”

Novikov, whose car was shod with a full set of brand new studded tyres, felt a more aggressive driving style had paid off. “I was a bit too careful yesterday so today I decided to push a bit harder on the snow where I feel comfortable - I’m happy with this time,” he said.

With a rally lead of 1m14.9s, Sebastien Loeb, was happy with his driving but concerned about his start position of first on the road. “These are proper Monte-Carlo conditions,” he said. “The end was full of snow, it was bright and sunny so really nice to drive. I’m not sure its good to be first of the road in the morning but we’ll see.”

Loeb’s team-mate Dani Sordo was fourth fastest, with Mads Ostberg rounding off the top five times.

Finns Mikko Hirvonen (Citroen) and Jari-Matti Latvala (Volkswagen) were eighth and ninth fastest respectively, and both were unhappy with their driving. “I don’t know what the problem is but I just don’t have the speed here,” said Hirvonen. “It must be me because the car is fine.”

Latvala, who clipped a roadside pole on the stage, said: “I’m struggling on the snow and can’t get the feeling. I’m not going very well and that’s not good.”

click: wrc.com/monte ss5



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

SS6: New studs pay dividends for Novikov



The stage lived up to its name –‘froid’ it certainly was. Strong winds blew snow from the fields onto the roads and an air temperature of -11C felt more like -30C in the wind chill. Conditions were likened to those found in Sweden, and full studded tyres were the only sensible choice.

Evgeny Novikov took full advantage of his decision to fit a new set of studded rubber to his Ford Fiesta RS this morning and duly delivered the first stage win for the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team.

The young Russian was fastest by 4.9sec from team-mate Mads Ostberg and said: “I was on the limit. I was very careful in the braking areas. It was a difficult stage but I enjoyed it.”

Ostberg made some changes to the car before the stage and they clearly paid off for the Norwegian. “It worked better but I’m still not pushing,” he explained. “I didn’t want to push and I’m losing a lot of time in the high-speed areas.” Not that much though….

Juho Hanninen made it a Ford 1-2-3 in the stage, 8.3sec behind Novikov, although the Finn was slightly rattled after briefly sliding off the road on a fast right corner.

Fourth fastest was the Volkswagen Polo R of Jari-Matti Latvala. The Finn was happier with his driving and realised that his brush with a roadside pole in the opening stage had actually punctured a tyre.

Those at the top of the leaderboard tackled the stage first and were hampered by snow on the road. Conditions improved as they swept the road to leave a cleaner and faster line for those behind.

Consequently Dani Sordo was fifth in his Citroen DS3, but that was sufficient to move the Spaniard into third overall, relegating Mikko Hirvonen. The gap between the two is just 5.0sec.

Rally leader Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier were just behind Sordo, Ogier losing a few seconds after spinning. As first on the road, Loeb endured the worst of the conditions.

“It started to snow and in some places there was a lot of snow in the road. I was making the line and there was no grip. It wasn’t as enjoyable as the first stage - more stressful than enjoyable,” he explained.

Bryan Bouffier spun his Citroen DS3 while Martin Prokop escaped unscathed after hitting a bank with his front left wheel in a high-speed section. Michal Kosciuszko’s troubled event continued when the Pole bent the right rear wheel on his MINI John Cooper Works and lost about a minute.

click: wrc.com/monte ss6



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SS7: Loeb still Monte master at Thursday midpoint



Reigning world rally champion Sebastien Loeb remains in control of Rallye Monte-Carlo at the halfway point of Thursday’s competition, the Citroen ace heading to service at Valence with a useful lead of 1m17.9sec over Sebastien Ogier.

Loeb, running first on the road, lost a few seconds of his overnight advantage on the morning loop, but emerged from SS7 happy with his lot. “That was okay – a good drive,” he said. “We started the day with a good lead and we should keep that. Perhaps I was a bit too careful at the end of that one, but there was lots of ice, absolutely no grip, and rocks and walls…”

Volkswagen’s Ogier was second fastest on SS7 to maintain a relatively comfortable second overall on his debut event in the Polo R. “All okay, but that was the trickiest of the morning loop I think,” he said. “A lot of ice, low grip and we had to try to conserve our tyres too.”

Loeb’s Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo is third, 1m00.1s behind Ogier.

Another remarkable stage win for Evgeny Novikov on SS7, promoted the Russian ahead of Mikko Hirvonen into fourth, 7.6sec behind Sordo. Before the drive to service, the Fiesta RS driver was full of praise for his experienced gravel note crew of Denis Giraudet and Francois Delecour. “They are quite good, you know! They give me the best pace notes and that’s given me confidence here,” he said.

Citroen DS3 driver Hirvonen completed the mixed asphalt and ice covered SS7 eighth fastest and in low spirits “Not so good again,” Hirvonen shrugged. “I don’t know, maybe I destroyed my tyres on the asphalt section near the start, because at the end it was very slippery and I don’t have any confidence.” Hirvonen lies fifth, 4.1sec behind Novikov.

Jari-Matti Latvala is sixth in Volkswagen’s second Polo R, 25.1sec behind Hirvonen and still dissatisfied with his driving in varied road conditions. “Okay, it’s getting better but I still don’t have the confidence in the mixed. When it’s consistent, either snow or dry, then it’s okay.”

Twenty-five seconds behind Latvala, Juho Hanninen (Ford Fiesta RS) is seventh, despite a small off on SS6. Bryan Bouffier (Citroen DS3) is 56.5sec further back in eighth. Mads Ostberg is ninth, after a good morning’s work during which he set a second and third fastest stage time.

WRC2

Sepp Wiegand dominated the FIA’s new WRC 2 category on Thursday morning, winning all three stages in his Skoda Fabia S2000 to more than triple his overnight lead to 3m47.s.

The German declared himself happy with his driving, but said the conditions were hazardous. “Everything’s okay, but we’ve had a lot of small but big moments!” he said.

Behind him, there were no changes to the top three. Armin Kremer holds second in a Group N specification Subaru Impreza, but said he struggled to control the car under braking on the numerous icy sections.

Russian driver Yuriy Protosov, also in an Impreza, is 1m28sec further back in third. “There’s been a lot of ice,’ he said. “The surface changes from asphalt to ice all the time and it’s hard to find the grip.

Rashid Al Ketbi (Skoda Fabia S2000) is a distant fourth, 13 minutes behind Protosov, with Ricardo Trivino (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) five minutes further back. Lorenzo Bertelli (Subaru Impreza) completes the WRC 2 runners.

WRC 3

Sebastien Chardonnet heads to Thursday’s midpoint service first in the WRC 3 classification after overnight leader Renaud Poutot crashed on today’s second stage.

Poutot, in a Citroen DS3 R3T, began the day with a 1m05.9s advantage over Chardonnet in a similar car, and stretched this to 1m19.2s with another win on SS5.

On SS6, however, Poutot threw away his advantage when his car left the road. “It was a very slow corner and I was perhaps 2kph too fast - we went off and bumped into a tree,” he explained.

Chardonnet resolved to drive more smoothly today following two costly punctures on Wednesday. He had a scare on SS5, when he drove off the road and had to be pushed back on, but emerged from SS6 with an 8sec lead over Poutot. A stage win on SS7 stretched that to 40.2sec.

click: wrc.com/monte ss7




...

Last edited by Weasel 555; 01-17-2013 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:08 AM   #29
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Q. Sebastien Ogier has been driving for the team through last season but Jari-Matti Latvala is new to the team this year. What did you think of his performance today?

Jost Capito: Jari-Matti did exactly what we asked him to do. To finish the rally is the most important thing for us, and of course he has much less experience of the Polo R WRC than Sebastien. It was obvious to see the time differences and also to see that on the later stages Jari-Matti caught up. Unfortunately he had a puncture in the last stage which cost time but were very happy with the performance of them both.
They brought on Latvala with the goal of finishing rallies? Were they not paying attention at all last season? I think Petter was the only one with a worse record for DNFs.


My real problem with Loeb is just that he never makes mistakes, and never has mechanical issues. That automatically puts him on a different level than everyone else.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:16 PM   #30
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SS8: Loeb eases to first stage win of second leg



Conditions were similar to those experienced during this morning’s opening pass. The temperature was a few degrees higher at -8C, but the roads were still predominantly covered with snow and ice. However, ruts started to form as asphalt began to appear through the white stuff.

Rally leader Sebastien Loeb was relaxed at the stage finish after guiding his Citroen DS3 to fastest time – his first of the second leg and fourth of the rally. The Frenchman was quickest by 2.8sec from the similar car of Dani Sordo and extended his advantage over second-placed Sebastien Ogier to 1min 26.3sec.

“Part of the stage was rutted in the ice and snow and it’s hard to push in those conditions,” said Loeb. “It’s really difficult when the car comes out of the ruts, but it was a clean stage with no mistakes.”

Sordo enjoyed the stage, especially the final section which was full snow. He was 5.6sec faster than the Volkswagen Polo R of Ogier, who is clearly becoming frustrated at being asked to compare his times to former team-mate Loeb.

“It was not the plan and never will be the plan. I don’t care about Loeb. He is not doing the championship,” said Ogier, who clearly isn’t going to be drawn into a battle with his former team-mate when he is currently heading the full-time championship contenders.

Mikko Hirvonen was fourth fastest in his Citroen DS3, the Finn sounding slightly happier after what has been a frustrating rally so far.

Rounding off the top five was the Ford Fiesta RS of Evgeny Novikov, the Russian the only leading driver to have left the Valence service park this afternoon with just one spare wheel. “I was too cautious at the start of the stage on the asphalt. I didn’t want to damage the tyres,” he explained.

There was more frustration from Jari-Matti Latvala, who was sixth fastest in his Polo R. The Finn was 20.0sec slower than Loeb and said: “I can’t get a good time in this stage. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but the time just isn’t good. I don’t understand, maybe the tyres are not so good for this stage.”

The Fiesta RS cars of Juho Hanninen and Mads Ostberg were seventh and eighth, Ostberg feeling the effect of the ever-increasing number of ruts. “There are Tarmac lines in the snow. I tried to push hard but lost the lines and I think I went slower to be honest,” admitted the Norwegian.

click: wrc.com/monte ss8



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

SS9: Hanninen bags maiden stage win



The snow covered St Bonnet stage offered crews the most consistent road surface of the morning loop. It was the same this afternoon, and provided the perfect springboard for Fiesta RS driver Juho Haninnen to take his maiden WRC stage win.

The Finn, on his Ford debut for the Qatar World Rally Team, won the stage by a huge margin of 6.6sec from Evgeny Novikov. Hanninen lies seventh, but less than two seconds adrift of Jari-Matti Latvala.

“That stage is the only one where I feel I can drive to the maximum potential because the road surface and the grip is consistent,” a delighted Haninnen explained. “Okay, I’m very happy with this time, and I want to be able to harness the potential on the other surfaces too but this will take more time and experience in the car.”

Meanwhile the battle for the final Rallye Monte-Carlo podium place intensified when another fantastic time from Fiesta RS pilot Novikov enabled him to close the gap to Dani Sordo to 11.2sec. “I’m on a mission and for sure I will fight for third,” the Russian acknowledged. “I took it easy on the previous stage because I took only one spare wheel. But I pushed here and I will do the same on the one to come.”

Sordo was fourth fastest and more concerned with the pace of his team-mate Loeb than the man now breathing down his neck. “I’m looking at Loeb’s splits and compared to them I’m happy with my stage,” said the Spaniard. “I don’t know how my time compared to Novikov’s because I don’t get them in the car.”

Rally leader Sebastien Loeb reached the end of SS7 in the third fastest time. “If anything it was more slippery than in the morning,” he said. “The snow has been compacted by the cars and there’s a little more snow on top. You have to be very cautious, under control all the time. I had a good stage, so okay.”

Qatar M-Sport driver Mads Ostberg rounded out the top five times, with Hirvonen (Citroen) and Latvala (Volkswagen) still off the pace in eighth and ninth. “The car was understeering a lot and I couldn’t keep it in the clean line,” explained Hirvonen. “It’s difficult to drive. We have tried a few set-up things for the second loop and maybe there are not so good here.”

Latvala said: “Its not the best but it’s difficult to find the best rhythm. I’m trying but unfortunately I can’t get the best confidence. I can’t push more without that.”

click: wrc.com/monte ss9



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

SS10



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

Thurs Day 2 Wrap


Sebastien Loeb remained firmly in control of Rallye Monte-Carlo after today’s second leg. The 38-year-old Frenchman extended his overnight advantage over Sebastien Ogier from 1min 20.3sec to 1min 34.8sec in his Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team DS3.

Loeb won two stages, opening his account on the first test this afternoon and ending the leg by winning the final test by just 0.5sec from Volkswagen Motorsport’s Ogier.

Competitors tackled two identical loops of three stages in the northern Ardeche and Haute Loire regions north-west of Valence. The 132.50km of asphalt was covered by deep snow and hard-packed ice, although conditions became rutted during the second pass. Temperatures were bitter and a biting wind made the -11C recorded this morning feel like -30C.

“We kept the lead that we had this morning and that was the main goal for the day. The penultimate stage in St Bonnet was full of snow and offered really nice conditions. But this last test was a bit rough, with a lot of cuts and just one line through the ice,” said an unflustered Loeb.

Loeb may be leading, but 29-year-old Ogier is wasting little time on comparing his times to those of his former team-mate. His sights are clearly focused on the championship rather than this rally, and he has given short shrift to the persistent questions about Loeb’s pace.

“I don’t care about him. You need to get that into your minds!” said the Polo R pilot. “There are still two days to go but we’re happy with the car. We’ve had no problems at all so we’ll cross our fingers and try to preserve second.”

Dani Sordo and Evgeny Novikov are engrossed in an exciting battle for third. Both displaced Mikko Hirvonen from a podium place, while Novikov also saw off Jari-Matti Latvala as he climbed from sixth to fourth, 15.2sec behind Sordo.

Sordo and Novikov were fourth and fifth through the final test, although the Spaniard was not so happy as his Citroen DS3 arrived at the finish. “It’s a good battle but I didn’t have a good feeling in this stage and the time wasn’t so good. The stages continue to be difficult tomorrow, but I’m really looking forward to Sisteron (SS13),” he explained.

Novikov took full advantage of a brand new set of studded tyres to win the final two stages of the morning in his Fiesta RS for the Qatar M-Sport squad. The Russian promised to continue to attack tomorrow.

“I’m so happy and I’m looking forward to the last two days. I will continue to fight for a good place,” he said.

Fifth and sixth were Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, both somewhat subdued at the wheel of a Citroen DS3 and Volkswagen Polo R respectively. The pair are separated by 20.5sec.

“It has been a really difficult day,” admitted Hirvonen. “It’s not so often that I feel as bad after a day, but I’ve been really struggling and I’m not happy.”

Latvala was not quite as crestfallen, but far from content. “I’ve had fewer problems today but I’m not happy with my times. It’s not been a positive day in that sense. I have an idea of what to change and I hope it works,” he said.

Juho Hanninen climbed to seventh, the Finn delighted at claiming his maiden WRC win on his debut in a Fiesta RS. “I’ve learned a lot about this car. It’s not easy because I need to accept that I don’t know the car so well and there’s a lot of potential I can’t use when the grip is changing. When the grip is the same, it’s OK. When I get used to the car it will be good.”

In eighth is former Monte winner Bryan Bouffier, whose eyes were opened in the final stage. “It was a Tarmac road?” asked the Citroen DS3 pilot. “I’m not so sure! The guys in front are crazy, cutting like hell. I want to finish and I’m trying to do well. Up to now it’s positive.”

Mads Ostberg was another member of the subdued club. Ninth fastest in the final stage and ninth overall were not what the Norwegian had in mind on his Monte-Carlo debut. “I’m not happy. I’m losing so much time and I don’t know why,” was all the normally talkative Ostberg said from inside his Fiesta RS.

Rounding off the top 10 is a lonely Martin Prokop. The Czech driver is more than eight minutes behind Ostberg and almost five minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

“I’m really happy to finish because I had some big, big moments and I’m pleased to stay on the road,” admitted Prokop.

The only other WRC car still running is the MINI John Cooper Works of Michal Kosciuszko in 14th, the Pole’s incident-packed rally continuing with a spin in the final test tonight, after which he was helped back onto the road by spectators.

“It was difficult to find my speed in the fast sections. I don’t trust my ability in a WRC car in the really quick parts at the moment,” he admitted.

WRC 2

German Sepp Wiegand continues to lead the WRC 2 category in his Skoda Fabia S2000. His advantage has climbed to 3min 55.9sec from fellow countryman Armin Kremer in a Group N Subaru Impreza. Wiegand won all six stages today and has now won all but two of the 10 tests.

“It was a really good day with strong times and no problems. It’s good to learn and gain experience of snow for next month’s Rally Sweden. I’m learning a lot and driving at a good speed but not pushing,” he explained.

Veteran Kremer, who won one stage yesterday, knows the time gaps mean nothing on such a difficult rally and with two long days remaining. “Yeah I’m really happy, the car is nice and I think it’s been really fantastic. But this is only day two and we know the rally is very long,” he said.

Yuriy Protasov is third in another Impreza, 2min 39.6sec behind Kremer, and the Ukraine driver’s only problem was a broken handbrake in the first pass through St Bonnet (SS9)

Rashid Al Ketbi lies fourth in a Skoda Fabia S2000, 15min 55.2sec behind Protasov. Ricardo Trivino’s Mitsubishi Evo X and Lorenzo Bertelli’s Impreza complete the runners.

WRC 3

Sebastien Chardonnet moved into the lead of the WRC 3 category today while overnight leader Renaud Poutot retired in the penultimate stage this afternoon.

Poutot’s troubled day began when his Citroen DS3 went off the road into a tree in SS6, handing the advantage to the similar car of Chardonnet.

However, the gap between the two was less than a minute when Poutot’s rally came to a premature end when he slid into deep snow and was unable to regain the road.

Chardonnet is the only survivor in the category and just needs to reach Saturday night’s finish in Monaco to take maximum points.

Chardonnet lost time on SS5 when he briefly slid off the road, and suffered other minor issues. “When it got dark I turned on my lights and the light pod wasn’t properly adjusted, so it was hard to find the apexes. On the last stage I did not understand my notes at the beginning and I lost time,” he said.

click: wrc.com/Day 2 wrap


....
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #31
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Team bosses reflect: Monte Day 2

Back in the service park in Valence, here's what Yves Matton (Citroen Total Abu Dhabi), Malcolm Wilson (Qatar M-Sport) and Jost Capito (Volkswagen Motorsport) had to say about Thursday’s competition:

Q: Yves, it’s been a really difficult day for the drivers out there but a fantastic day again for Sebastien Loeb. You must be happy?

Yves Matton: “Yes. Like yesterday night he’s still leading the rally. It was a difficult day, but he managed his pace very well - going hard where he could and being cautious at the right places.”

Q: But his team-mate Mikko Hirvonen seemed to struggle. He just couldn’t find the pace today. What’s wrong?

Yves Matton: “If we knew the problem for sure we would solve it! But yes, he had some difficulties to enter the game today, especially when there is a mix of snow and asphalt. We will try some things tonight and see if we can find a solution.”

Q: Dani Sordo is doing well in third overall, but it looks like he’s got a big job to keep Evgeny Novikov behind.

Yves Matton: “Yes, but he did a great job on the first loop, where he studied the stages and didn’t push too hard. Now he tries to keep his place he went harder on the second loop. But these are not the conditions that he prefers.”

Q. It’s been another strong day for Sebastien Ogier. Some great times on the stages and in second position overall. How is the team feeling today?

Jost Capito: “I think our drivers seem to wake up earlier in the morning than the others because yesterday Sebastien won the first stage and today he did the same again. Actually, it’s been a really great day again. Coming with a new car to the first rally and being second after the second day is something we would have never dreamed of. We have had no technical problems with the cars, the team is calm, quiet and focused so we hope it will continue like this.”

Q. Coming to this rally did you think a podium was a possibility?

Jost Capito: “No. In Monte-Carlo everything can happen. And still everything can happen. So we are still not talking about a podium – it’s too far away.”

Q. In terms of weather conditions for over next few days, are VW hearing anything in particular? There is talk of a lot of snow on Saturday.

Jost Capito: “I don’t think there will be any snow [smiles]. Let’s ask Malcolm…"

Q. Malcolm, what are you hearing?

Malcolm Wilson: “I don’t know [smiles]. You had better ask Yves…”

Q. We’ve seen some fastest times from the Qatar M-Sport team today. You must be pleased after the way things went yesterday?

Malcolm Wilson: “Yes, they’ve done a great job today. It was nice to see Juho get his first fastest stage time in a WRC event, but think the real highlight has been Evgeny’s performance. We’ve seen in the past that he could do the odd quickest time but he’s been really consistent today and put a little bit of pressure on Dani. It’s been a great performance. We didn’t have a good opening day so it’s really nice to get back winning stages again.”

Q. Is there still a little bit of a worry with Evgeny? We know how quick he is, but in the past we’ve seen him have a lot of pace and then the car has gone off the road. Does he have your nerves on edge at all?

Malcolm Wilson: “Yes because when you look at the times that he was doing today, and the gaps, it wasn’t just by just half a second or two or three seconds. I think at one point it was by 10 seconds and you start to think, gosh, that’s a big margin with the level of experience that he’s got. But I think we saw last year how he developed and progressed. Its fair to say I’m still a little bit nervous, as you can imagine, when he takes that kind of margin, but he seems to be very happy and very comfortable in the position that he’s in.”

Q. Evgeny and Mads Ostberg are your frontrunners in the team this season. Mads is a little bit further back. He’s had some good times but struggled towards the end. Are you concerned at all?

Malcolm Wilson: “It’s his first Monte-Carlo. It’s a little bit like Yves said about Mikko; when there’s consistent grip he seems to be very good but when you get these patches of snow and ice or the conditions are changing then he’s found it difficult to get the confidence and, to be honest, that’s what it’s all about. If he can get the confidence in those conditions it works. But I think he’s done a good job to come here for the first time and do what he’s done so far.”

click: wrc.com/Team Bosses Q&A Day 2

...
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:33 PM   #32
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:34 PM   #33
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:09 PM   #34
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Fri Day 3 -SS11: Loeb starts leg 3 with stage win

The thermometer registered -13C in La Cime du Mas, but the biting wind present yesterday has calmed to leave more pleasant conditions for the thousands of fans lining the roadsides. Blue skies, bright sunshine and trees bending under the weight of snow – classic Rallye Monte-Carlo stuff.

The first 10 kilometres in the valley were wet asphalt, but once the test started to climb, the roads were snow covered. Studded tyres were the only sensible option for the mountains, but it meant drivers had to look after their tyres on the initial asphalt.

Rally leader Sebastien Loeb was first into the test in his Citroen DS3 and duly set fastest time. There’s not much surprises the unflappable Frenchman, but even he was blown away by the Rally Sweden-like conditions.

“Incredible. The nicest stage of the rally so far. There was more than 20km of full white snow, sunshine and snow banks. I wasn’t in a situation where I needed to push too hard and I didn’t take any risks. I was careful in the fast downhill and I’m here without any mistakes,” he explained.

Second quickest was the Volkswagen Polo R of Sebastien Ogier. After ceding time to Loeb on the asphalt, Ogier reeled him in on the snow and finished just 1.5sec behind. Not that he minded because, as we should all know by now, he’s not worried about comparing his times to his former team-mate.

“It wasn’t easy because it was the first time for me on this stage and it’s my first Monte in a World Rally Car. I preferred to be safe and I could be faster,” he said.

Norway’s Mads Ostberg was chatty at the finish, a sign that he was happier this morning. Third fastest for the Qatar M-Sport man in his Ford Fiesta RS was a great performance.

“We did a good job on the Tarmac. I’m improving on the Tarmac with snow tyres. And my snow driving was OK too. I’m pleased with the stage,” he said.

The battle for third in the leaderboard between Dani Sordo and Evgeny Novikov continued to rage. Novikov was fourth fastest in his Fiesta RS, closing the gap to the Spaniard to just 7.4sec as Sordo dropped time with a spin after the rear of his Citroen DS3 caught a snow bank.

“I will fight, there’s no question,” said the pumped up Russian.

Jari-Matti Latvala was fifth fastest in a Polo R, the Finn rueing the fact he didn’t have much previous experience of this stage.

Juho Hanninen and Mikko Hirvonen were next up. Hanninen reflected that he pushed too hard on the downhill section to the finish and went too sideways, while Hirvonen’s hopes of closing on Novikov took another knock and he is now more than 30sec behind.

Bryan Bouffier lost well over a minute in his Citroen DS3 after going off in the final third of the stage. “Thanks to the spectators who helped us to continue. It’s a disappointment but that’s it,” he said.

Skoda Fabia S2000 driver Sepp Wiegand was once again fastest in the WRC 2 category, despite saying he had driven cautiously. "It was difficult, very slippery, so we took no risks," said the German, who is 4min 12.1sec clear at the top of the standings. Armin Kremer was second fastest with Yuriy Protasov third.

Citroen DS3 R3T driver Sebastien Chardonnet, the sole remaining WRC 3 entrant, adopted a careful approach in the snowy conditions. He completed the stage cleanly to remain on course for a maximum points haul on Saturday.

click: wrc.com/monte ss11



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

SS12: Ostberg nets maiden stage victory



Mixed conditions offered tyre selection headaches, especially as teams had to choose rubber for both this stage and the following Sisteron test before leaving service. Sections of clean asphalt were interrupted by icy corners and patchy snow and that meant full studs were again the option for most.

The roads became increasingly dirty as more cars came through the stage but that didn’t worry Mads Ostberg who claimed fastest time from ninth on the road in the Qatar M-Sport Fiesta RS – his first stage win on his Rallye Monte-Carlo debut.

It’s been a tough week for the Norwegian but he was 2.1sec faster than team-mate Evgeny Novikov and revealed that changes to his car had boosted his confidence.

“I had a good rhythm and a new set up on the car worked well,” he said. “It was very dirty and we had one big moment. It was dry in my notes and it looked dry, but there was a lot of mud on the road.”

Second fastest for Novikov was sufficient to promote him to third on the leaderboard, relegating Dani Sordo who lost time with a spin. “Very difficult, very slippery and very narrow, but everything was fine,” said the Russian, whose few words summed up the views of all the drivers.

Sordo hinted that the set-up of his Citroen DS3 wasn’t perfect and the rear of the car was moving. “I stopped near the beginning. I touched the throttle and the car spun. I didn’t do so well afterwards because conditions were tricky and it’s hard to see where the dirty places are,” said the Spaniard, who was ninth fastest and lies 8.6sec behind Novikov.

A rejuvenated Mikko Hirvonen was third in the stage, 3.4sec behind Ostberg. “Conditions were changing all the time and it was melting in places, but I’m quite happy with the drive,” explained the Finnish Citroen DS3 pilot.

Next up was Sebastien Ogier, the Volkswagen Polo R driver saying with a glint in his eye: “It’s quite difficult especially because Loeb had dragged snow onto the road in the cuts. I hope I put more snow on the road for the others!”

The Frenchman was 1.0sec quicker than rally leader Loeb. “It was not nice to drive. There was always snow on one side of the road, left or right, but there were never two wheels on the same grip. When you braked the wheel on the snow always locked. I didn’t push,” he explained.

Jari-Matti Latvala was sixth fastest, the Polo R pilot again sounding frustrated. “I thought I was driving OK, but it seems not. We have a radio problem so I have no idea of the split times. I don’t know what speed to drive at,” he said.

Bryan Bouffier was seventh despite a clutch issue which meant he had to leave the stop line by firing up his Citroen DS3’s engine ‘on the key’ while in gear. “I hope it will be possible to repair it,” he said.

WRC 2 category leader Sepp Wiegand stopped on the road section before the stage with a broken battery cable. The battery wasn’t charging, but the German made repairs and made it safely though the stage in his Skoda Fabia S2000. He was again fastest from Yuriy Protasov and Armin Kremer.

Sebastien Chardonnet, sole survivor in the WRC 3 category, was a remarkable 12th quickest in his two-wheel drive Citroen DS3 – faster than all the WRC 2 cars.

click: wrc.com/monte ss12



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

click: wrc.com/video/

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Old 01-18-2013, 01:14 PM   #35
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SS13 / Day 3 wrap:

Citroen ace Sebastien Loeb remains on course to take a seventh Rallye-Monte Carlo victory on Saturday after completing the penultimate day of the event with a lead of 1m47s over Sebastien Ogier.

The unflappable Frenchman has led since the rally’s second stage and rounded off Friday’s competition with a fastest time through SS13.

Just three stages comprised today's third leg. The opening St Jean en Royans test in the Vercors region east of Valence preceded the start of the long journey south to Monaco. En route drivers tackled two more stages, including the famous Sisteron, near Digne-les-Bains, bringing today's total to 92.00km.

Last run in 2002, Sisteron is one of the Monte’s most formidable challenges, with a route that includes a bit of everything, from steep climbs and high speed descents to wide open sprints and twisty, technical sections. The route was dry at the beginning and end, but there were five kilometres of rutted ice from the 21km point as the road climbed to the 1308 metre summit of the Col de Fontbelle.

Loeb was first to arrive at the stage end, his Citroen DS3 fitted, like most of the front-runners, with a combination of winter and asphalt tyres. “It was the right decision for sure, but the mix is certainly not the most exciting to drive,” he said. “But we have to do it because I think it’s the best option. Overall I’m very happy with the job we have done today.”

The Volkswagen team’s hopes of a podium on its WRC debut ride with Sebastien Ogier. Despite a stall on an uphill hairpin, the Frenchman kept a cool head to get his Polo R to the stage end in the third fastest time. “It was okay, I was very careful especially on the ice. I took absolutely no risks,” he said.

After another impressively trouble-free outing in his Ford Fiesta RS, Evgeny Novikov is third, 1m32.5s behind Ogier. “It’s been a fine day,” the Russian acknowledged. “On this stage I had two studded and two winter tyres. So I made up some time in the ice but we lost a bit at the beginning and the end where it was dry. I’m happy though.”

Citroen DS3 driver Dani Sordo is fourth after a spin earlier in the day, but only 1.7sec adrift of Novikov, setting the scene for a terrific battle for the final podium place tomorrow.

After a frustrating few days, during which he struggled to get a comfortable feeling in his Volkswagen Polo R, Jari-Matti Latvala made a breakthrough on SS13, arriving at the finish in the second fastest time. “Let’s have more like this - a few more Sisterons please!” he grinned. “Now I’m starting to get my confidence. Much better!” The Finn’s performance moved him ahead of Mikko Hirvonen into fifth, 43.3sec behind Sordo.

Hirvonen slipped to sixth, 14.2sec back, and still in the doldrums after another unhappy stage in his Citroen DS3. “Not looking good,” was the Finn’s blunt assessment. “I was really cautious which meant I overheated the brakes because I was on them too much. I lost a lot time at the end. It was a really bad stage.”

Fiesta RS driver Juho Hanninen lies seventh, 56.4sec behind Hirvonen, with Mads Ostberg in an identical car eighth, 1m02.7s further back. Bryan Bouffier is ninth with Martin Prokop completing the top ten.

WRC 2

WRC 2 category leader Sepp Wiegand had a fright when a battery problem threatened to bring his Skoda Fabia S2000 to a halt this afternoon.

The young German stopped on the road section to SS12 when the battery stopped charging. He was able to make repairs and his pace through the stages was unabated, allowing him to head down to Monaco with a lead of 4min 48.3sec.

“I’m just happy to be here. We had a problem with the cable from the battery and there was no connection, so it wasn’t charging. We fixed it with tape and it was fine in the stages. No can fix it at service and I’ll try to drive safely to the end,” said Wiegand, who was fastest on all three tests today and lies 11th overall.

Armin Kremer remains second in a Subaru Impreza, the German admitting he is erring on the side of caution. Yuriy Protasov’s Impreza is third, 2min 46.1sec further adrift.

In fourth is the Skoda Fabia S2000 of Rashid al Ketbi while Ricardo Trivinio and Lorenzo Bertelli complete the runners.

WRC 3

Sebastien Chardonnet, the sole survivor in WRC 3, enjoyed a trouble-free day in his two-wheel drive Citroen DS3. The Frenchman emerged from the final Sisteron stage in 17th overall and such was his pace that he was faster than all the WRC 2 drivers in SS12.

“At the beginning of the stage we were thinking about our tyre choice and we decided finally to put some studs on the front wheels. It was a good choice because it was just crazy. The ice was very, very slippery. But it’s quite easy to control the car so it was a lot of fun,” he explained.

click: wrc.com/Day 3 wrap




...
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:39 PM   #36
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Really want me one a them new VW Polor things. How na hail they make them lil SOBs go so derned fast in the snow?
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:51 PM   #37
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:36 PM   #38
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #39
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:55 PM   #40
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Holy crap. That is some serious carnage right there. It's ok, Latvala's seen worse and survived.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:57 PM   #41
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:54 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torquemada View Post


whoah ! glad they r both ok tho
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:24 PM   #43
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Looks like fun this year: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BAqNUQCCIAERrqT.jpg
Last two stages cancelled? No night run over Turini will equal a lot of angry spectators.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:54 PM   #44
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Sat Day 4
SS14 and SS15: Novikov, Latvala and Hanninen crash out




A couple of hours before SS14, 75 per cent of the Turini roads were covered in snow and the white stuff was falling. Then it turned to rain, and the roads became a treacherous mix of snow, slush and water. Carnage ensued.

The Ford Fiesta RS of third-placed Evgeny Novikov, Jari-Matti Latvala’s Volkswagen Polo R and Juho Hanninen’s Fiesta RS all crashed out as drivers were reduced to little more than walking pace.

Tyre selection was irrelevant as drivers emerged in a state of shock, describing conditions as the most difficult they had experienced

The man that made the best of it was Bryan Bouffier, who was fastest by 29.1sec in a Citroen DS3. However, his time of 23min 56.9sec for the 23.54kms emphasised just how hard it was.

“My notes were bad. A lot of corners were supposed to be clear but were icy. I stayed in the middle of the road without mistakes. It wasn’t the most beautiful stage I’ve done in my life because it was so slippery, but I did a good time,” he said.

Qatar Ford’s Mads Ostberg was second, the Norwegian stating: “I couldn’t walk through there, I’m sure, and we tried to do this in a car. It was unbelievable all the way from the start. It was so wet with no grip at all. I drove the car in road mode for much of the stage.”

Sebastien Ogier was third, 49.2sec slower than Bouffier. “I was driving at 20kph in places. I touched a barrier at least twice,” explained the Polo R pilot.

Fourth fastest was Sebastien Loeb in his Citroen DS3, 3.5sec behind his fellow Frenchman. “It’s undriveable,” said the nine-time world champion. “The roads were snow and water and we were aquaplaning all the time. We had no grip. We drove at 30kph on the straights because if you go quicker you lose the car completely and you go off.”

With Novikov’s demise, Dani Sordo climbed to third overall in his DS3 after setting fifth fastest time. “It was so bad that I lost control uphill in first gear!” said the Spaniard. “On the downhill section just after the col, there were two right corners where we didn’t have grip.”

Novikov pulled the rear left wheel from his car 3km after the start and although he tried to continue, he stopped shortly afterwards. Fifth-placed Latvala went off the road near the start, while Hanninen retired from seventh in a downhill section 5km from the finish after ripping off the front left wheel.

Mikko Hirvonen was sixth, the Finn admitting: “It was the most difficult stage I’ve ever driven over Turini in my life. It was so easy to lose the car. You just wait for the next wall and hope nothing breaks.”

After the drama of the Turini stage, drivers were moved onto SS15 from Lantosque to Luceram. Conditions were easier, the lower altitude meaning the roads were mostly wet – something for the drivers to give thanks for.

Sordo was fastest by 4.3sec from Hirvonen, with Ogier a further 1.9sec behind. Loeb and Bouffier rounded off the top five times.

“Most of the stage was OK, but at the top of the col it was half ice and half snow which made things difficult,” said Sordo.

Drivers were still stunned by what they had encountered in the previous test and fearing the worst when they return there again shortly.

But for Mads Ostberg the dramas continued before SS15. “We didn’t have time to change tyres so I needed to take care of my studs before the second pass through Turini. I probably lost time but I wanted to ensure my tyres were OK for the next one,” he said.

The Norwegian was sixth fastest, 30.5sec slower than Sordo.

click: wrc.com/monte ss14 & ss15

SS14


SS15


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

SS16: Loeb the master of slush



A fastest time for Sebastien Loeb on SS16 means that with just two more stages of Rallye Monte-Carlo to go, the Citroen DS3 driver holds a 1m39.9s lead over Sebastien Ogier and remains on course to take his seventh Monte victory later today.

The second of Saturday’s three passes through the Turini stage presented crews with a very different challenge to the first, when the extreme slush and snow took out three top 10 drivers. In contrast, SS16 was run in darkness, in patchy rain, and even though there was still plenty of slush about, there were also two clean lines of wet asphalt for most of the route.

The most effective approach was to keep the car in the lines and avoid the slush. However, before the drive back to Monaco for service, a deflated Loeb explained that it wasn’t exactly high-adrenaline stuff. “It’s really uninteresting to drive like this, but if you go out of the lines you are off the road,” he explained.

“So you just drive slowly, which isn’t very interesting for us or the spectators, but it’s like that. I put on a small display for the spectators at the top - but only because I lost control a bit…”

Ogier also adopted a safe strategy at the wheel of his Volkswagen Polo R. The Frenchman no doubt aware of the importance of getting to the finish on the team’s debut rally – especially after Jari-Matti Latvala crashed the other Polo on SS14. ”Not easy stages today, but we are driving very safe now. Nothing more to do I think,” explained Ogier.

Citroen DS3 driver Dani Sordo headed to service in third, 2m09.1 behind Ogier, after benefiting from Evgeny Novikov’s retirement on SS14. The Spaniard was third fastest through SS16, but admitted he had backed off after he saw split times from the cars behind. “When I saw I was okay I took it a little easier,” he said. “It’s been a really tough morning so I’m pleased to be here.”

Citroen Total Abu Dhabi Dhabi team driver Mikko Hirvonen holds fourth, having gained two places with the exits of Latvala and Novikov. “Pretty much a safe strategy now. I’ve got to get the car home safely,” he acknowledged. “I had one small moment, when we slipped onto the slush, but apart from that no problems.”

Almost three minutes behind Hirvonen, Citroen pilot Bryan Bouffier is fifth, having inherited the position from Mads Ostberg who strayed off the racing line 3km from the start. “I went wide and hit something with the right-hand rear wheel,” explained the Ford Fiesta RS driver. “I broke the wheel and the suspension. The brakes aren’t working well but I think we’ll get back to service.”

The incident cost Ostberg almost six minutes, dropping him 3m50.6s behind Bouffier. Martin Prokop is seventh 11m23.6s further back, with Sepp Wiegand (Skoda Fabia S2000), Olivier Burri (Peugeot 207 S2000) and Michal Kosciuszko (MINI John Cooper Works) rounding off the top ten.

WRC 2

A trio of stage wins for Sepp Wiegand kept him in the lead of WRC 2 with a healthy 8m25.8s advantage over Armin Kremer.

Despite the treacherous conditions of SS14, Wiegand began the day in dominating fashion, setting the seventh fastest time overall in his Skoda Fabia S2000. He repeated the feat on SS16 – despite a spin at the top of the Col.

“All is okay so far today but the Turini was so, so difficult. It was crazy,” said the German. “On the first pass I saw a lot of cars had gone off, then we caught and passed Kosciuszko. After that we slowed down to take it a bit safer.”

Subaru Impreza pilot Armin Kremer said he as relived to be in the rally at all after the ‘crazy’ conditions of SS14. He headed to service in Monaco with a 2m55.5s cushion over fellow Subaru driver Yuriy Protasov whose vision was hampered by a misting windscreen.

Fourth placed Rashid Al Ketbi (Skoda Fabia S2000) trails Protasov, with Ricardo Trivinio (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X) the final runner in fifth.

WRC3

Sebastien Chardonnet, the sole remaining WRC 3 entrant, completed the trio of stages without incident to remain of course for a maximum 10 points today. ‘Very difficult stages, lots of slippery ice. Now we just try to drive slowly and get to the finish,” said the Citroen DS3 R3T driver.

click: wrc.com/monte ss16




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

Breaking News SS17 & SS18 Cancelled

Loeb wins Monte


The organisers of Rallye Monte-Carlo have stopped the event early, after huge numbers of spectators forced the cancellation of the final two stages on safety grounds.

The results after SS16 become the final classification, meaning Citroen DS3 driver Sebastien Loeb has claimed his 77th victory in the FIA World Rally Championship and his seventh on the Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Sebastien Ogier claimed second on his debut event in the Volkswagen Motorsport team’s Polo R. Dani Sordo took the final podium place in his Abu Dhabi Citroen Total Team DS3.

click: wrc.com/Breaking News ss17 & ss18 cancelled

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


whoah what a end... !!

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Old 01-19-2013, 06:09 PM   #45
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Loeb claims seventh Monte-Carlo victory



A dramatic final evening of Rallye Monte-Carlo ended with the cancellation of the last two stages to enable Sebastien Loeb to claim his seventh victory in the opening round of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship.

A dramatic final evening of Rallye Monte-Carlo ended with the cancellation of the last two stages to enable Sebastien Loeb to claim his seventh victory in the opening round of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship.

The Citroen Total Abu Dhabi pilot led from the second stage on Wednesday and drove his DS3 faultlessly in treacherous weather to win by 1min 39.9sec. Second was Sebastien Ogier, delivering a superb debut for Volkswagen Motorsport’s new Polo R, while Dani Sordo secured third in another DS3.

The final night in the mountains above Monaco produced dramas galore. Three of the top seven on the leaderboard, Evgeny Novikov, Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hanninen crashed out in awful conditions on the first pass of the mythical Col de Turini stage.

Organisers then cancelled the final two tests on safety grounds when huge numbers of spectators brought the narrow roads to gridlock.

It was Loeb’s 77th WRC victory and the Frenchman said: “I’m always happy when I win, and Monte-Carlo is one of the most exciting rallies I’ve done. This one was really, really difficult. The conditions were extreme compared to what we have usually and winning wasn’t easy.”

The four-day rally, covering 425.93km over 16 stages, was based in Valence for the opening three legs, before relocating to Monaco. Snow and ice made it one of the toughest ‘Montes’ for years and studded tyres were the only sensible option.

While Loeb’s victory was not a surprise, second for Ogier delighted the 29-year-old Frenchman. He refused to be drawn into comparing stage times with Loeb, who will tackle only four rounds this season.

“I’m so happy, it’s like a victory for me,” he said. “I’m a competitor and I’ve never been happy to finish second but this weekend it was really the target, and to start the season like this is amazing. I’ve been waiting for one year, I’ve done so many tests and it was frustrating sometimes, and now here we are with the Polo on the pace already.”

Sordo’s podium came on his first rally with the Abu Dhabi Citroen team since rejoining them this season. He battled with Novikov most of the rally but when the young Russian ripped the rear left wheel from his Ford Fiesta RS, the Spaniard was promoted into third.

“It has been a very difficult and special Monte-Carlo, not like a normal tarmac rally at all. It has been very easy to make a mistake or lose time. Yeah I’m happy, especially because we didn’t have to go out on the Turini again!” said Sordo.

Mikko Hirvonen cut a frustrated figure for much of the week. But the Finn persevered with his DS3 and the demise of Novikov and Latvala, who hit a wall, allowed him to take fourth.

Bryan Bouffier claimed fifth in another DS3 while Mads Ostberg rounded off the top six in a Fiesta RS, after overcoming confidence problems early in the rally and broken right rear suspension today.

Sepp Wiegand won the new WRC 2 support category in a Skoda Fabia S2000. The German took the lead on the second stage when Esapekka Lappi retired his similar car with accident damage. Armin Kremer finished second with Ukraine’s Yuriy Protasov third.

In the WRC 3 support series, Sebastien Chardonnet took the honours in a two-wheel drive Citroen DS3. The Frenchman was the sole survivor after Renaud Poutot went off.

click: wrc.com/monte wrap



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Old 01-19-2013, 06:56 PM   #46
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Looks like the three people that deserve to be on the podium made it to the podium.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #47
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:48 AM   #48
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WRC 2013 Monte Carlo Day 4 - Part 1/2

&

WRC 2013 Monte Carlo Day 4 - Part 2/2



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

Next: Round 2 Sweden 07-10 Feb




With the return of Rally Monte-Carlo to the WRC in 2011, Rally Sweden has gone back to its traditional slot of being the second rally of the year. It consists of 22 stages over a competitive distance of 339 kilometres with the start and finish in Karlstad and the permanent service park in Hagfors. Friday’s route is based in the Hagfors region, Saturday’s stages take place east of the town with the bulk of Sunday’s action taking place over the border in Norway.

Despite ambient temperatures dipping to as low as minus 25 degrees centigrade, fans flock to the stages in greater number to witness the spectacle of drivers charging through ice- and snow-coated roads at full speed, which can be achieved thanks to their metal studded tyres, which bite through the soft snow surface and into the hard-packed ground below.

As well as relying on their studded tyres, drivers make the most of the snow banks that line much of the route. They act as soft barriers and enable drivers to ‘lean’ their cars through the corners. However, they represent a major hazard when corners are taken too quickly with several drivers dropping vital time getting stuck or having their radiators filled with snow.

Official Website: rallysweden.com


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Old 01-20-2013, 11:54 AM   #49
Black07Sleeper
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Awesome thread, thanks for all of the effort, Weasel! And thanks to everyone else for contributing videos and WRC discussion.

I'm so sad to see (or better yet NOT see) that this season isn't being carried on any channel in the US. I've only been keeping up since 2005, and although my favorite driver (Solberg) has had difficulty participating and my favorite team (Subaru) is out, I've still enjoyed following. It looks like my best chance to see the WRC is on youtube or drive to Mexico in early March. Anyone up for a road trip?
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:02 PM   #50
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Here's a good one I found. The first ten seconds let you know it's going to look good:
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