18-01-29 The true unsung heroes
Séb Ogier couldn't have won without his ice-note crew. But who exactly
See that patch of ice? Yes, the one the suns just starting to catch
the corner of. The ambient temperature is -2°C and I need to know whether
that ice will be melted in precisely one hour.
Tell me now. Now.
Welcome to the world of the ice-note crew in the World Rally Championship.
These are the genuine unsung heroes of the sport who have a very real input
into the chances of a crew winning Rallye Monte-Carlo. By their own admission,
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia couldnt have won the event
for a fifth consecutive and sixth in total time on Sunday without
Here is everything you need to know about them:
-Ice-note crews? They do what it says on the tin: they note where the ice
is on the stages running through the French Alps.
-They? Just like the real-time rally crew, theres a driver and a co-driver
in the ice-note crew. All of the factory drivers have their own crew.
-The ice-noters are usually very experienced rally drivers and co-drivers
but almost as important is the personal relationship with the rally
crew, their lives are in the ice-noters hands. Ogier and Ingrassia use
Simon Jean-Joseph, a former Ford and Subaru factory driver and Jack Boyere,
a super-experienced French co-driver.
-The ice-note crews are allowed through the stage one hour before the first
car starts competing, but theres always some jockeying for position
at the start everybody wants to be last in so they can offer the most
up-to-minute, accurate weather information.
-The co-drivers in the rally car photocopy their pacenotes and their opposite
number in the ice car will read the notes through the stage, marking the notes
with changes voiced by their driver. These changes are then dictated from
the ice car to the rally car before each stage.
-The ice car is the car used by the rally crew on the recce. Its a standard,
production car with full safety kit including roll cage and safety harnesses.
-Last weeks Rallye Monte-Carlo was an absolute nightmare for the safety
crews. Ice on the first night, rain and mud on the first full day, then heavy
snow and finally plenty of ice on the Col de Turini on the last day. The ice-note
crews were making hundreds of changes to the pacenotes.
-The worst thing that can happen is a sudden drop in temperature which
happens regularly just as the suns coming up which freezes a
puddle in the braking zone. The consequences of that are a rally-ending crash.
On the flip side, being too cautious and marking ice which has melted will
slow the rally car down too much.
-Ice-note crews become gravel-note crews on the other asphalt WRC rounds.
Instead of looking for ice, theyre looking for patches of gravel, mud
or standing water which will affect corner speed after the rally crews have
completed their pre-event recce.
-The lot of an ice-note crew is not always a happy one. Theyre usually
up and out at 0400 and the pressure is enormous, not just to get the changes
right, but to deliver the changes as well. Ever tried using your mobile phone
from the middle of the mountains?
18-01-29 Tuff inledning på
2018 WRC för Hyundai Motorsport i Rallye Monte-Carlo
Hyundai Motorsport avslutade ett tufft Rallye Monte-Carlo och inledning på
2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) med endast en bil inom topp fem och
några starka resultat i de avslutande fyra etapperna.
Dani Sordo tvingades dra sig tillbaka under lördagen efter att ha kört
av vägen och utan möjlighet att dra nytta av Rally 2. Det lämnade
Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team med endast två bilar under den
sista dagen. Thierry Neuville och Andreas Mikkelsen siktade båda mot
att avsluta rallyt på topp efter att ha stött på en del egna
motgångar under helgen i Monte-Carlo.
Neuville sammanfattade teamets etappsegrar till sex efter att Neuville kört
snabbast på SS15 och SS16 under söndagen. Dessutom körde han
hem fyra poäng med en andraplats i Power Stage. Belgaren som tillsammans
med kartläsare Nicolas Gilsoul redan kämpat sig tillbaka upp till
sjundeplats under lördagen, tog sig till slut om Evans med en sekund.
Tack vare ett misstag av Lappi slutade Neuville sedan på femte plats.
Mikkelsen hade redan startat om rallyt under Rally 2-regler på lördagen.
Något som gjorde att han satte sitt fulla fokus på en stark avslutning
i Power Stage. Norrmannen bestämde sig för att köra på
fem mjuka däck under de fyra avslutande etapperna (vilka saknade servicestopp
eller zon för däckbyte). Hans fart begränsades därför
på de isiga vägarna upp mot Col de Turini, men därefter körde
Mikkelsen starkt i SS15 för att ge Hyundai Motorsport en 1-2-position.
Avslutningsvis körde han in som trea i Power Stage.
För Hyundai Motorsport blev första omgången av 2018 inte alls
som planerat men Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC visade rejäl potential mot ett
konkurrenskraftigt motstånd. Något som gör att man ser positivt
Nästa stopp i WRC-cirkusen är Rally Sweden den 15-18 februari. Hyundai
Motorsport har tidigare tagit hem två pallplatser i Sverige med Thierry
Neuville 2015 och Hayden Paddon 2016. Teamet ställer här upp med
tre bilar där Mikkelsen och Neuville får sällskap av Paddon.
Slutresultat - Rallye Monte-Carlo
1 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC 4:18:55.5
2 O. Tänak M. Järveoja Toyota Yaris WRC +58.3
3 J. M. Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +1:52.0
4 K. Meeke P. Nagle Citroën C3 WRC +4:43.1
5 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +4:53.8
6 E. Evans D. Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC +4:54.8
7 E. Lappi J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC +4:57.5
8 B. Bouffier X. Panseri Ford Fiesta WRC +7:39.5
9 C. Breen S. Martin Citroën C3 WRC +9:06.7
2018 FIA World Rally Championship - Förarmästerskapet
Efter omgång 1
1 S. Ogier 26
2 O. Tanak 18
3 J.M Latvala 17
4 K. Meeke 17
5 T. Neuville 14
6 E. Evans 8
7 E. Lappi 6
8 B. Bouffier 4
9 A. Mikkelsen 3
10 C. Breen 2
11 J. Kopecky 1
2018 FIA World Rally Championship Konstruktörsmästerskapet
Efter omgång 1
1 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 33
3 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 33
3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 18
4 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 14
18-01-28 Five in a row for
Frenchman holds off Tänak for home win at Rallye Monte-Carlo season opener.
Defending FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier has made the perfect
start to his bid to clinch a sixth drivers crown by mastering the elements
to clinch his fifth Rallye Monte-Carlo in a row on home soil.
The M-Sport man began the final day of the season curtain-raiser 33.5sec ahead
of the pursuing Ott Tänak following a sustained push from his Toyota
rival, but he immediately quelled any thoughts the Estonian may have had of
launching a late bid for glory by going 11.5sec faster than the Toyota Yaris
driver on SS14 (La Bollene Vesubie - Peira Cava).
The tone was set, and with Tänak thereafter backing off to secure a superb
second place on his debut for his new employer, Ogier could pace himself to
the finish for a fifth consecutive victory in the principality.
Rallye Monte-Carlo is a special event for me, the Frenchman reflected.
Ive always done well here I seem to have a really good
connection with my home rally and Im super happy to take another
"It's been a difficult weekend. You often have to face tough conditions
here, but this one was extremely tricky. I've never struggled so much with
tyre choice. It was all about trying to minimise mistakes, and I managed to
make fewer than the others.
"I need to thank the team for the best possible start to the season,
but it has also shown that the competition will be huge this year. Its
wide open and Im looking forward to it.
Tänak was delighted to seal the runner-up spoils on his first outing
with Toyota, 58.3sec adrift of Ogier but 53.7sec clear of Jari-Matti Latvala,
who made it a podium double for the Japanese manufacturer.
Although unable to match his team-mates speed, the Finn was consistent
throughout and happy to banish the memories of the Power Stage accident that
cost him second place on the final event of 2017.
The Power Stage this time was dominated by Kris Meeke, who salvaged some consolation
for Citroën at the end of a troubled weekend with fourth overall
2min 51.1sec behind Latvala and five additional points.
Meekes position had initially looked like going the way of Toyotas
Esapekka Lappi, but the young Finn made a costly mistake on SS17 (La Cabanette
- Col de Braus), dropping him behind not only the Ulsterman but also Thierry
Neuville and Elfyn Evans.
Neuville was the architect of a remarkable recovery in his Hyundai i20, battling
back from opening day misfortune to overhaul Evans and Lappi with a determined
effort. The Belgian ultimately fell just 10.7sec shy of similarly passing
Meeke, finishing 1.0sec clear of Evans overall and 3.7sec ahead of Lappi.
2011 winner Bryan Bouffier came home eighth the Frenchman losing time
in a snow bank on SS16 (La Bollene Vesubie - Peira Cava) with Craig
Breen ninth in the second Citroën C3, the Irishman never recovering from
a significant time loss as the snow plough on Saturday morning.
WRC 2 winner Jan Kopecky completed the final top 10.
1. S Ogier FRA Ford Fiesta 4hr 18min 55.5sec
2. O Tänak EST Toyota Yaris + 58.3sec
3. J-M Latvala FIN Toyota Yaris +1min 52sec
4. K Meeke GBR Citroën C3 + 4min 43.1sec
5. T Neuville BEL Hyundai i20 +4min 53.8sec
18-01-28 Kris Meeke finishes
just shy of podium
Today's fourth and final leg enabled the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi
WRT crews to showcase their skills. Whilst Craig Breen and Scott Martin set
a third fastest time, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle snatched fourth place as they
took maximum points on the Power Stage, claiming the C3 WRC's very first such
win of its career. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT leaves the Principality
in third position in the manufacturers' championship whilst and Kris Meeke
lies fourth in the drivers' standings.
Peaking at just over 1,600 metres above sea level, the Col de Turini is one
of the highlights of the event. The excitement surrounding this stage owes
much to the atmosphere created by the large numbers of fans that line the
roads and the invariably unpredictable weather. This year's running of the
iconic Monte stage proved to be no exception, with twenty percent of the roads
on the first loop covered in frost, mainly found on the Col de Turini's ultra-fast
downhill section leading to Peira Cava.
An ability to read the level of grip accurately was necessary to keep
out of trouble. Of the two Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT crews, Kris Meeke
managed negotiate the loop best, with two studded Michelin tyres and two super
softs, whilst Craig Breen opted for a mix of soft-compound tyres (4) and super
softs (2). Both drivers then produced strong performances on the stage contested
between La Cabanette and the Col de Braus, grouped together in third and fourth
Craig Breen confirmed his good form with a third fastest time on the second
run over the legendary Col de Turini. Meanwhile, Kris Meeke showed strength
and consistency to hold off some of his determined rivals, whilst helping
himself to fourth place after claiming an encouraging win on the Power Stage.
A positive end to the rally that meant he put seventeen points on the board
in the drivers' standings and therefore made a good start to the season, whilst
Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT scored eighteen points to end this opening
round in third place in the manufacturers' championship.
WHAT THEY SAID
Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
"We had two different targets for Kris and Craig today: for Kris, the
idea was to hold onto his position, whilst Craig was hoping to do well on
the Power Stage, which is why they opted for differing tyre strategies. I'm
pleased that Kris did what we asked of him and more in securing
maximum points on the Power Stage. Craig was also on course for a good result
in the Power Stage, but he lost a few seconds when he stalled on a hairpin.
If it hadn't been for that, he would also have set a very good time."
"It was the hardest Monte-Carlo that I have ever experienced. We had
everything: sheer ice on slick tyres on Thursday evening, rain on Friday,
snow on Saturday and frost on the Col de Turini today. I'm surprised to finish
the rally with seventeen points, but I'll certainly take them! We now have
to stay humble and keep working hard to try and improve."
"The weekend got off to a difficult start, with our mistake on Thursday
evening. And then things went from bad to worse with the brake problems on
Friday, which left us opening the road as something of a snow plough on Saturday.
But we produced some good performances on a good few occasions, and did so
again today on the dry tarmac. We now need to keep working in more changeable
conditions, like those you typically get in Monte-Carlo."
FINAL PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 4:18:55.5
Tänak / Jarveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 58.3
Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 1:52.0
Meeke / Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) + 4:43.1
Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) + 4:53.8
Evans/Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 4:54.8
Lappi/Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 4:57.5
Bouffier/Panseri (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 7:39.5
Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) + 9:06.7
Kopecky/Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) + 16:43.0
DRIVERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Sébastien Ogier 26 points
Ott Tänak 18 points
Jari-Matti Latvala 17 points
Kris Meeke 17 points
Jari-Matti Latvala 17 points
Thierry Neuville 14 points
Elfyn Evans 8 points
Esapekka Lappi 6 points
Bryan Bouffier 4 points
Andreas Mikkelsen 3 points
Craig Breen 2 points
MANUFACTURERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
M-Sport Ford WRT 33 points
Toyota Gazoo Racing 33 points
Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT 18 points
Hyundai WRT 14 points
18-01-28 Uheldig Mikkelsen
med sterk avslutning
Andreas Mikkelsen var svært uheldig i Rallye Monte-Carlo da han fikk
løpet ødelagt med dynamoproblemer. Men 29-åringen slo
hardt tilbake på den avsluttende etappen, og fikk med seg tre verdifulle
Nordmannen, som er fabrikkfører for Hyundai Motorsport, gikk offensivt
ut før årets sesong og uttalte at målet for 2018 var å
bli verdensmester. Derfor var skuffelsen stor da han måtte bryte fredag
med en ødelagt dynamo, etter å ha startet Rallye Monte-Carlo
på en god måte. Sammen med kartleser Anders Jæger, kjempet
de helt i toppen etter de tre første etappene, men fikk dynamoproblemer
på vei til den fjerde fartsetappen.
De var tilbake på start lørdag, og det eneste det handlet om
da var å sikre seg ekstra VM-poeng på den avsluttende fartsetappen
Derfor tok vi et dekkvalg som kun var ideelt for power stage. Jeg synes
vi gjorde en god jobb på den etappen, men veien tørket opp for
hver bil som kjørte og det gikk raskere og raskere. I og med
at vi var første bil på veien, så var ikke det optimalt
for oss. Kjøremessig fungerte det imidlertid bra, og jeg er veldig
fornøyd etappen. Det holdt til tredjetid og tre VM-poeng, som er bedre
enn null. Jeg lover å komme sterkere tilbake, sier Mikkelsen.
Neste mulighet er VM-runden i Sverige i midten av februar. Til uka skal han
testen bilen på snø for første gang, og han tror det blir
en positiv opplevelse.
Jeg liker bilen veldig godt på grus, og det lover bra. For når
en bil fungerer bra på grus, så er den som regel det også
på snø. Det viste for øvrig også Thierry Neuville
i Sverige i fjor. Så utstyret er nok i orden, sier han med en smil.
Sebastien Ogier, som har vunnet VM fem år på rad, åpnet
årets sesong med seier i Rallye Monte-Carlo, foran Ott Tanak og Jari-Matti
18-01-27 Estonian hot on tail
of Frenchman heading into Rallye Monte-Carlo finale
Tänak gives chase to Ogier
Sébastien Ogier is just four speed tests away from a popular home WRC
victory at Rallye Monte-Carlo, but the Frenchman will need to hold his nerve
in the Sunday finale after impressive Toyota debutant Ott Tänak kept
him on his toes throughout Saturday.
Ogier and Tänak began leg three of the season curtain-raiser separated
by just under 15 seconds. Although the Frenchman had more than doubled that
advantage come days end, the figures do not paint the full picture of
a see-saw scrap that at one point saw him more than a minute clear.
The M-Sport man produced a virtuoso performance on the SS9 opener, maximising
his favourable road position in treacherously snowy conditions to extend his
lead over Tänak to 1min 18.4sec but then the Estonian fought back.
Fastest on both SS10 and SS11 notwithstanding an excursion into a field
by the time the cars headed back to evening service, the gap between
the pair was just 33.5sec.
Losing six seconds (to Tänak) on SS13 was what we had allowed for
I wanted to have at least 30 seconds in hand tonight, and thats
what we have, reflected Ogier.
We perhaps didnt make the perfect tyre choice for todays
final stage it was very dirty and we were a bit on the limit
but its ok.
Tänaks Toyota team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala briefly flirted with
second spot himself closing to barely 20 seconds shy after SS9
before falling away and settling into a solid and lonely third place. The
Finns cause was aided when Hyundai rival Dani Sordo crashed out of a
Latvala overhauled compatriot Esapekka Lappi in another Yaris as he moved
up the order, with the younger Finn falling behind Britains Kris Meeke
when a mistake precipitated a puncture on SS11.
Lappi spent the remainder of the day playing catch-up, with his dogged determination
paying off as he narrowly reclaimed fourth spot from his Citroën rival
on the final stage (SS13).
Elfyn Evans sits sixth overnight as the Welshman continues to battle back
from opening day misfortune in his Ford Fiesta, with Hyundais similarly
delayed Thierry Neuville recovering to seventh.
Bryan Bouffier has slipped to eighth ahead of Citroëns Craig Breen,
who suffered for being the road-sweeper through the snow of SS9.
WRC 2 pace-setter Jan Kopecky completes the overall top 10.
On Sunday, crews will tackle two identical loops of two stages totalling 63.72km
in the steep Alpes-Maritimes hills including the legendary Col de Turini
and the points-paying Power Stage with no service break in-between.
1. S Ogier FRA Ford Fiesta 3hr 30min 30.9sec
2. O Tänak EST Toyota Yaris + 33.5sec
3. J-M Latvala FIN Toyota Yaris +1min 32.7sec
4. E Lappi FIN Toyota Yaris + 4min 38.5sec
5. K Meeke GBR Citroën C3 + 4min 40.1sec
18-01-27 The C3 WRCs move up
Kris Meeke Paul Nagle and Craig Breen Scott Martin successfully
negotiated the day's snow-covered roads, as they moved up to fifth and ninth
place respectively in their C3 WRCs ahead of tomorrow's final leg, where racing
conditions may be well-suited to the qualities of their machines.
There was a mix of tension and excitement in the air early this morning: Champsaur,
the setting for today's third leg, had been covered with a blanket of fresh
snow overnight. Unlike yesterday, however, tyre choice proved to be rather
straightforward: studded tyres would be needed to get through the forty-five
or so kilometres of the first two stages, and both Citroën Total Abu
Dhabi WRT crews opted to take six tyres for the loop.
First on the stages after ending day two tenth overall, Craig Breen acted
as something of a snow plough for the crews behind him, and had no chance
of setting good times in the conditions. This was especially true given by
the time the stages got underway, a combination of rising temperatures and
light rainfall meant the snow had melted and turned into treacherous slush.
Fifth in the running order, Kris Meeke enjoyed clearer roads, but the grip
was much better for those coming after him. Both Citroën drivers nonetheless
performed admirably, moving up into ninth and fifth places respectively.
For the second pass on this loop of stages, this time a mix of four winter
tyres and two studded tyres was required. Although the snow and slush on the
road of which there was still plenty prevented Craig Breen from
producing any fast times, Kris Meeke showed his pace in the tarmac lines that
appeared as more cars completed the stages. The Northern Irishman was third
fastest at the second split on SS11, pointing to the potential of the C3 WRC,
but then dropped eight seconds by running straight on into a field.
After briefly moving into fourth overall, Kris Meeke who is determined
to score good points this weekend and get his season off to a strong start
was unable to hold off Lappi's comeback on the day's final stage. Craig
Breen, finally enjoying decent conditions, then reminded everyone of his pace,
setting a fine third fastest time on SS13, just 2.2s behind the stage winner.
Everyone decamps to Monaco and the Alpes Maritimes department for tomorrow's
final four stages. Although the drivers will have to watch out for patches
of ice left by the overnight frost, the stages are expected to be contested
mostly on dry tarmac roads. Conditions in which the C3 WRC has already proven
its worth, whilst Kris Meeke is only 1.6s off fourth place
WHAT THEY SAID
Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
"Hats off to Craig for having got the car back in one piece this evening
despite opening the road today, which meant he had to cope with very low-grip
conditions for most of the leg. Especially as he finished the day in style
on SS13. Meanwhile, Kris held his position well until Lappi picked up a puncture,
which then put him into a fight for fourth place. Our target, however, is
above all that he scores big points tomorrow and that he keeps growing in
confidence behind the wheel."
"On the first pass this morning, the grip was bound to improve as time
went by, but on the second loop, there were two narrow lines of tarmac visible.
Of course, when you're driving at close to 170kph, you absolutely cannot afford
to step out of the lines, or else you're off. I don't know if we'll be able
to fight for fourth place, but getting to the end in fifth position would
be a good start to the season in itself, given our misfortune on Thursday
"The first two loops proved to be very difficult for us, due to our road
position. But I'm pleased to have shown our pace on the day's final stage,
which was drier, and I hope the conditions are like this tomorrow."
STANDINGS AFTER DAY 3
Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3:30:30.9
Tänak / Jarveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 33.5
Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 1:32.7
Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 4:38.5
Meeke / Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) + 4:40.1
Evans/Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 5:00.2
Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) + 5:33.6
Bouffier/Panseri (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 5:43.4
Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) + 8:49.0
Kopecky/Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) + 14:04.4
18-01-26 Fikk erfare hvor
brutalt Monte er
Ole Christian Veiby fikk erfare hvor brutalt Rallye Monte-Carlo kan være
og måtte bryte etter en avkjøring lørdag.
Rallytalentet uttalte før løpet at målet var å fullføre
den vanskelige VM-åpningen for å høste mest mulig erfaring.
Dessverre lyktes han ikke med å ta seg til mål, men sammen med
kartleser Stig Rune Skjærmoen rakk han likevel å markere seg med
meget god kjøring.
I dag var det ekstreme forhold. Det kom snø i løpet av
natta, og det la seg flere centimeter med snø på veien
noe som gjorde det utrolig glatt. Jeg forsøkte bare å kjøre
kontrollert og holde meg i sporene. Men plutselig så slapp rompa på
bilen, og vi måtte bare være med på ferden. Bilen smalt
inn i autovernet på venstresiden og traff en bergknaus på høyresiden.
Jeg vet ikke helt hva som skjedde, men tror bakhjulene må ha kommet
utenfor sporet og mistet grepet, forklarer han.
Dette var hans tredje deltakelse i verdens kanskje mest berømte og
fryktede rally. Men det var første gangen han ikke kom til mål.
Selvsagt er det kjedelig ikke å fullføre, som var målet.
Samtidig er det mye positivt å ta med seg. Jeg har kjørt store
deler av løpet, og fått mange kilometer med erfaring under ekstremt
vanskelige forhold. I tillegg har jeg kjørt bra, spesielt fredag. Vi
kjørte veldig bra på starten av dagen da det var tørt.
På ettermiddagen kom regnet, og forholdene ble mer utfordrende. Men
da kjørte vi veldig fornuftig og klarte oss bra, mens andre gjorde
feil, forteller han.
Under de tørre forholdene på starten av fredagen var han raskere
enn flere av toppførerne på enkelte etapper.
De viser at vi holder et bra tempo, konkluderer han.
Nå har han rettet fokuset mot neste VM-runde i Sverige, hvor han som
Skoda Motorsport-fører skal kjempe om VM-poeng. Han skal kjøre
Rally Finnskog 3. februar som forberedelse til Rally Sweden.
Vi skal ha en liten test på onsdag for å komme inn i ordentlige
vinterforhold igjen. Rally Finnskog blir en viktig oppkjøring for oss,
18-01-27 Mikkelsen vil slå
tilbake på power stage
Andreas Mikkelsen kjørte kontrollerte under dagens svært vanskelige
forhold i Rallye Monte-Carlo. Nå satser han alt på å gjøre
det bra på den avsluttende power stage-etappen.
Nordmannen var svært uheldig og måtte bryte med dynamoproblemer
fredag. Dermed var en god plassering i sammendraget lagt i grus. Han var imidlertid
tilbake på startstreken i dag, og åpnet like godt med en sterk
Der hadde jeg en snurring i høy hastighet, men det gikk heldigvis
bra og jeg var raskest på etappen. Det har vært veldig, veldig
vanskelige forhold i dag, med mye snø og is. Derfor har jeg kjørt
så trygt og kontrollert som det er mulig for å komme gjennom dagen.
Hadde jeg brutt også i dag, ville jeg ikke fått mulighet til å
kjøre power stage og dermed heller ikke hatt mulighet til å
kjempe om VM-poeng, forteller Hyundai Motorsport-føreren.
Sammen med kartleser Anders Jæger tok han seg greit gjennom etappene
og høstet mer erfaring med bilen.
For oss er det viktig å få så mye tid som mulig i
bilen. Og med det som utgangspunkt, har det vært en viktig og lærerik
dag for oss, sier han, og retter blikket mot den avsluttende etappen.
Rallye Monte-Carlo ble ikke den starten på sesongen som vi håpet
på, derfor blir det viktig å gjøre det bra på power
stage-etappen for å få med oss så mange VM-poeng som overhodet
mulig. Dette er mitt eneste fokus nå, forklarer han.
De fem siste års verdensmester, Sebastien Ogier, har festet et grep
om seieren. Han leder med over halvminuttet på estlenderen Ott Tanak.
18-01-26 Diverse fortunes
for the C3 WRC crews
Seventh and ninth overall this morning, Craig Breen Scott Martin and
Kris Meeke Paul Nagle experienced contrasting fortunes on day two.
Whilst the former crew suffered poor luck, falling back to tenth position
after a brake problem, the latter pair moved up the standings to end the day
in sixth place, ready to seize any opportunities on day three, during which
the snow that has been forecast all week is finally due to make an appearance
With or without snow, the Rallye Monte-Carlo is a real challenge from start
to finish. There was plenty evidence of this today, as extremely difficult
road conditions prevailed with dampness in the air throughout the morning
loop, and then rain in the afternoon. However, the Citroën Total Abu
Dhabi WRT crews were not caught out by the changeable weather, opting to run
with four Michelin soft slicks (S6) and two super softs (SS6) in the morning,
before deciding to go with six SS6s for the second loop.
Craig Breen made a strong start this morning, setting the third fastest time
through the final split on the opening stage. Unfortunately, he then suffered
a stroke of bad luck, a stone lodging itself in the wheel rim and damaging
the brake calliper's bleed nipple, which meant that he gradually lost braking
power. With advice from the team, he managed to perform makeshift repairs
in the time allowed between stages, but lost more time on the next two speed
tests, dropping down to tenth overall at the end of the opening loop.
With his hopes dashed of achieving a strong points finish, he will now treat
the rest of the rally like an in-competition test for future outings. He nonetheless
set a fourth fastest time on the second pass on Roussieux-Eygalayes (30.54km),
the wettest stage of the afternoon loop, thus confirming his good pace on
this atypical road surface.
Meanwhile, following his misfortune yesterday evening, Kris Meeke made a relatively
cautious start to the day, but changes made to the set-up of his C3 WRC during
midday service enabled him to increase his confidence for the second pass.
He showed his renewed confidence after lunch, setting the fifth fastest time
on Vitrolles-Oze (26.72km), just 8.2s off the pace. His time was all the more
impressive given he was running seventh, a less than ideal position given
all the mud dragged onto the line by those tackling the stage before him.
Back up to sixth overall this evening, the Ulsterman ended the day on a high
note, with another fourth fastest time.
With substantial gaps already established between the competitors, the Citroën
Total Abu Dhabi WRT crews hope to take advantage of the rain and snow forecast
for tomorrow in Champsaur, to the north of Gap, to show what they can do
WHAT THEY SAID
Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
"Obviously, I'm disappointed for Craig, who deserved better. After his
problems, we decided to concentrate our efforts on the future, the aim now
being for Craig to get as many miles as possible under his belt whilst we
focus on improving the set-up. I'm pleased to finally see Kris gradually grow
in confidence, and move back up the standings. We are going to try to keep
moving in this direction, whilst remaining ready to seize any opportunities
that may come our way."
"Snow is forecast for the rest of the rally and when it comes, it might
just shake everything up, so I hope that it works in our favour! Although
it's not quite perfect yet, I'm pleased to have got a better feeling in the
car this afternoon, especially as the level of grip was particularly low,
with a lot of rain, mud and patches of blacktop
"We didn't have a lot of luck this morning with the brake issue. It has
never happened to me before, but it ruined our loop. The afternoon was much
better, particularly with the good time on SS7, although it's really difficult
to get among the leaders when you're driving on stages at full racing speed
for the first time. I hope we manage to make the most of our strengths in
the conditions tomorrow, which are expected to be really tough again."
STANDINGS AFTER DAY 2
Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 02:07:15.4
Tänak / Jarveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 14.9
Sordo / Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 WRC) + 59.7
Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 1:09.9
Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 1:10.1
Meeke / Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) + 2:45.5
Bouffier/Panseri (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 3:34.6
Evans/Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 4:01.7
Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) + 4:04.1
Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) + 5:06.6
18-01-26 Monte-Carlo escape
Lucky Frenchman keeps Tänak and Sordo at bay during WRC season opener.
Rallye Monte-Carlo master Sébastien Ogier escaped an uncharacteristic
second error to remain on target for a fifth consecutive WRC win on Friday
He spun his Ford Fiesta into a ditch on Fridays penultimate speed
test and watched his lead of almost 40sec dwindle as fans manhandled it back
onto rain-soaked mountain roads in the French Alps.
The incident followed a previous spin on an icy bend during a crazy opening
night of the four-day event on Thursday, but the reigning champion still led
this opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship by 14.9sec from Ott
It was a difficult day but were here and still leading,
said Ogier. It would have been better without the spin, we would have
been a minute ahead. Tomorrow must be better.
Tänak climbed from fifth overnight, but lacked the confidence to push
hard in the heavy rain on his Toyota Gazoo Racing debut. Driving a Yaris,
the Estonian won two of the days six speed tests and was one of three
drivers to take on the mantle of Ogiers closest pursuer.
Andreas Mikkelsen, second overnight, conceded the position after overshooting
a junction in the opening stage before retiring on the following liaison section
with a broken alternator in his Hyundai i20.
Team-mate Dani Sordo moved up but fell back to third, after a mix-up in tyre
selection and a misted windscreen delayed the Spaniard. He ended 59.7sec behind
Toyotas Finns, Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala, were fourth and
fifth to complete an impressive showing by the Japanese manufacturer. Lappi
trailed Sordo by 10.2sec and was just 0.2sec ahead of his colleague, who struggled
with understeer this morning.
Kris Meeke was a lonely sixth, the Northern Ireland driver 1min 35.4sec further
back in his Citroën C3 and admitting he needed those ahead to hit problems
to give him any chance of climbing higher.
Bryan Bouffier was seventh ahead of fellow M-Sport Ford driver Elfyn Evans,
who won two stages as he recovered from a time-consuming puncture on Thursday
Thierry Neuville, who dropped more than four minutes on Thursday after sliding
into a snow bank, climbed to ninth in his i20. The Belgian has set himself
the target of a top-six finish.
Craig Breen was a deflated 10th, the Irishman losing more than three minutes
on Friday morning with a brake problem in his C3.
Saturday's drivers will face two identical loops of two stages north of Gap
before a repeat of Thursday nights Bayons - Breziers test. After 117.55km
of action, they make the long journey south to Monaco ahead of Sundays
finale in the mountains above the Principality.
1. S Ogier FRA Ford Fiesta 2hr 07min 15.4sec
2. O Tänak EST Toyota Yaris + 14.9sec
3. D Sordo SPN Hyundai i20 + 59.7sec
4. E Lappi FIN Toyota Yaris + 1min 09.9sec
5. J-M Latvala FIN Toyota Yaris +1min 10.1sec
18-01-26 Dynamoproblemer ødela
Felt av tekniske problemer
Andreas Mikkelsen lå an til å få en god start på rallysesongen.
Men en kranglete dynamo ødela Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Hyundai Motorsport-føreren fikk en fin åpning på sesongens
første VM-runde. Sammen med kartleser Anders Jæger kjørte
han godt under de vanskelige forholdene torsdag kveld, og lå på
andreplass med kun Sebastien Ogier foran seg på sammenlagtlista.
De norske guttene var godt fornøyd med åpningsetappene, og var
optimistiske foran fredagens etapper. Dessverre måtte de kaste inn håndkleet
før SS4. De fikk problemer med dynamoen på transportetappen,
og gjorde alt som sto i deres makt for å fikse problemet, uten å
Selvsagt utrolig skuffende, og fryktelig synd med alle VM-poengene
som nå går tapt, sier Andreas Mikkelsen som retter blikket
fremover mot neste VM-runde i Sverige.
At vi får en så dårlig start på sesongen kan
gi oss en bedre startposisjon i Rally Sweden, selv om det er en veldig mager
trøst, poengterer han.
Han beskriver torsdagens etapper som vanskelige. Han startet sent i feltet,
og bilene foran hadde kuttet svinger og dradd ut mye grus i veien.
Kjøringen fungerte veldig bra, til tross for utfordrende forhold.
Bilen kjentes også fin ut, og vi var veldig motiverte for fortsettelsen
av løpet, sier han.
Fredagens veier var tørre og fine, og alt lå til rette for en
Vi var forberedt på at det skulle komme nedbør i ettermiddag,
men dessverre måtte vi takke for oss. Bilen blir imidlertid reparert,
og vi stiller til start igjen i morgen, sier en skuffet Andreas Mikkelsen,
som selvsagt et sjanseløs til en god plassering i sammendraget.
Tidsplan Rallye Monte-Carlo 24.-28. januar 2018
Onsdag 24. januar
16:00 Shakedown Gap (3,35km)
Torsdag 25. januar
21:43 SS1 Thoard-Sisteron (36,69km)
22:51 SS2 Bayons-Breziers 1 (25,49km)
23:56 FlexiService Gap
Fredag 26. januar
08:51 SS3 Vitrolles-Oze 1 (26,72km)
10:04 SS4 Roussieux-Eygalayes 1 (30,54km)
11:37 SS5 Vaumeilh-Claret 1 (15,18km)
12:52 Service Gap
13:58 SS6 Vitrolles-Oze 2 (26,72km)
15:11 SS7 Roussieux-Eygalayes 2 (30,54km)
16:44 SS8 Vaumeilh-Claret 2 (15,18km)
17:49 FlexiService Gap
Lørdag 27. januar
08:08 SS9 Agnieres en Devoluy-Corps 1 (29,16km)
09:16 SS10 St Leger Les Melezes-La Batie Neuve 1 (16,87km)
10:31 Service Gap
11:57 SS11 Agnieres en Devoluy-Corps 2 (29,16km)
13:08 SS12 St Leger les Melezes-La Batie Neuve 2 (16,87km)
14:23 Service Gap
16:09 SS13 Bayons-Breziers 2 (25,49km)
17:29 Service Gap
22:17 Parc Fermé Monaco
Søndag 28. januar
08:32 SS14 La Bollene Vesubie-Peira Cava (18,41km)
09:08 SS15 La Cabanette-Col de Braus (13,58km)
10:55 SS16 La Bollene Vesubie-Peira Cava (18,41km)
12:18 SS17 La Cabanette-Col de Braus (13,58km) Power Stage
18-01-26 Ogier overcomes early
WRC champion leads Mikkelsen and Sordo in Monte-Carlo season opener. World
champion Sébastien Ogier recovered from a spin on the opening stage
at Rallye Monte-Carlo on Thursday night to secure a handy 17.3sec lead heading
into day two. A number of his rivals weren't quite so lucky as patches of
black ice and snow shook up the early leaderboard.
The Frenchman, who was born close to the host town of Gap, used his local
knowledge to master the asphalt stages that were smattered with patches of
ice that could barely be seen in the darkness.
Despite a slow half spin in the 36.69km Thoard - Sisteron stage, Ogier was
fastest through both of the opening speed tests in his M-Sport Ford World
Rally Team Fiesta WRC.
He was happy with his start as he went in search of his sixth Rallye Monte-Carlo
win. "We knew on the first stage it would be difficult to pass the icy
section. Before the spin I was right in the middle of the road doing 10kph.
Luckily I managed to stay on the road," he explained.
"The information we got from the ice note crew was correct. We have some
small things to improve but it's not a bad start."
Andreas Mikkelsen emerged from the darkness as the second fastest driver overall.
The Norwegian managed to keep his Hyundai i20 pointing in the right direction
across both opening stages but complained that it was hard to know how hard
he could push without doing anything he would later regret.
Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo was a further 8.3sec behind as he made a positive
start to the first rally of the 2018 WRC season. The Spaniard was 11.8sec
ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing's fastest driver, Esapekka Lappi.
The Finn beamed: "We are on a mission. No mistakes, that was the target
tonight. The pace was not the best but it's not so easy to drive on these
stages. I need to build up the confidence step-by-step."
Team-mates Ott Tänak and Jari Matti Latvala completed the top six in
their respective Yaris WRCs but both men had endured a fraught opening night
of competition. Tänak dropped 37.3sec in the opening test when he spun
and got stuck, while Latvala slid off the road twice in the same stage and
dropped even more time.
"It was very difficult. The road was icy so I went into the snow to try
and get some more grip. But it was worse and we spun a couple of times. That's
Rallye Monte-Carlo," Latvala said philosophically.
Craig Breen guided his Citroën C3 to seventh place despite getting it
stuck when he too suffered a first stage spin. He was 48.7sec clear of 2011
winner Bryan Bouffier who filled eighth spot.
Kris Meeke, Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville all suffered a disastrous first
night at Rallye Monte-Carlo and found themselves in ninth, tenth and 11th
Meeke and Neuville both spun off the road and got stuck in the opening stage
while Evans had to stop his Fiesta to change a puncture after only 12km of
the same stage. Meeke ended the day 2m 12.7sec off Ogier's lead while Evans
and Neuville were already more than four minutes off the pace as the opening
night drew to a close.
The rally resumes on Friday, when crews will tackle six more mountain stages
covering a total distance of 144.88km.
18-01-26 A constrasting start
for the C3 WRCs
At the end of this evening's short but very difficult opening leg, during
which almost all the drivers ran into trouble of some kind, Craig Breen
Scott Martin and Kris Meeke Paul Nagle made it to the Gap service park
in seventh and ninth places respectively. Their positions were not a fair
reflection of the pace of the cars, as once again, Monte lived up to its reputation
Only 62.18 kilometres of timed stages, i.e. barely 16% of the total competitive
distance, were contested this evening. However, these first two stages came
with the difficulty of being held after nightfall, with only the lamp pods
to guide the cars. First up, a genuine test of guts and bravery: contested
this year for the first time in the opposite direction, the opening stage
between Thoard and Sisteron has made plenty of rallying history over the years,
due to the snow that is ever present around the Col de Fontbelle.
Covering the tarmac over almost three kilometres on this opening stage, and
mostly on the downhill section, the snow provided the teams with a real headache
in terms of tyre choice in service before the start in Digne-les-Bains. Although
feedback from the safety crews suggested that that the loop was predominantly
dry, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT crews decided to play it safe in
opting to take six Michelin super soft slicks (SS6).
However, Craig Breen and Kris Meeke needed all of their acrobatic talents
to get through this critical section, where they both lost time, after briefly
getting stuck in ditches like many of their WRC rivals. In setting the fifth
fastest time, just 24.6s off the leader, Breen got off the lightest, whilst
the cost was heavier for Meeke, who finished tenth, some 1:44.7 off the pace.
The trouble encountered on the first stage then made it difficult for them
to be completely relaxed on the second, especially as Craig Breen who
had trouble contacting his safety crews arrived late at time control
and set off on stage without the correct pressure in his front tyres.
Featuring six stages in the Hautes-Alpes, Drôme and Alpes de Haute Provence
departments and covering a competitive distance of 144.88 kilometres, i.e.
37% of the total distance, tomorrow's leg will be the longest day of the rally
for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT. The team is determined for its crews
to show what they can do, especially as the weather looks set to shake things
WHAT THEY SAID
Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
"Obviously, this wasn't the start we were hoping for, especially as we
had made the right call on tyre choice. There was a difficult section on the
first stage, which proved more costly for us than many of the others. Inevitably,
our crews were then on the back foot on the next stage. I nonetheless note
the positive feedback from the drivers about the handling of the C3 WRC, and
I have high hopes that we'll back able to show that over the course of remaining
three long legs."
"On the snow, I understeered slightly, so I pulled the handbrake and
ended up spinning in the middle of the road. Most of the time, you'd just
turn round with the handbrake and set off again. This time, I decided to stay
calm and just reverse to get the car facing the right way but, unfortunately,
we slipped into a ditch. It was a stupid and very frustrating mistake. The
feeling wasn't great on the next stage either. But there's still a long way
to go in the rally."
"On the first stage, we got stuck on a verge for almost thirty seconds,
and we needed help from the spectators to get going again. Without that minor
error, we'd have grabbed the stage win. And then on the road section to the
next stage, we lost time getting corrections from our safety crew and arrived
late at time control, which meant we picked up a ten-second penalty, and we
didn't have the correct pressure in the tyres because we didn't have time
to adjust them before the start. It's not been a dream start, but I'm really
pleased with our pace when everything was going well."
STANDINGS AFTER DAY 1
Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 38098
Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Hyundai i20 WRC) + 173
Sordo / Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 WRC) + 256
Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 374
Tänak / Jarveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 424
Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 554
Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) + 1023
Bouffier/Panseri (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 1510
Meeke / Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) + 2127
Camilli-Veillas (Ford Fiesta R5) + 2422
18-01-24 A constructive final
outing before the start
The Rallye Monte-Carlo shakedown provided the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi
WRT crews with the opportunity to complete a final dress rehearsal before
the real action gets underway tomorrow evening. Benefiting from generally
dry conditions, which are not expected to hold for the whole of the rally,
Kris Meeke Paul Nagle and Craig Breen Scott Martin completed
final testing in their C3 WRCs, finishing with the fourth and ninth fastest
The Rallye Monte-Carlo's 3.35km-long shakedown stage wasn't necessarily representative
of the difficulties to come over the weekend. This was particularly due to
the different tarmac of the surface and its deep cuts, which led to rapidly
deteriorating road conditions as more cars came through the stage and dragged
mud onto the racing line.
As grip levels gradually decreased, most of the crews set their best times
on one of their first two passes on the stage. Among the last of the WRCs
to head out and tackle what were already dirty roads, Craig Breen set his
fastest time on his first run, finishing ninth overall. The Irishman went
on to complete another four runs. Fourth fastest on the stage, Kris Meeke
was the only driver to improve his time on his third pass, before completing
a final run after nightfall.
The various WRC drivers opted to run on Michelin's brand new soft slick tyre
(Pilot Sport S6), the super soft version (Pilot Sport SS6) or a mix of both.
Running on soft-compound slicks on their first attempt, when the quickest
crews opted for four super soft tyres, Kris Meeke and Craig Breen then completed
the rest of their session with a combination of the two compounds. Meeke ended
up by also testing a set-up with four SS6s. The later runs gave both drivers
the chance to note the improved capabilities of the French manufacturer's
latest tyres on greasy, damp roads.
Pleased with the variety of conditions they faced during their winter testing,
Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT mainly used this final test session to give
their drivers some time in the car, check that the headlamps were working
properly and confirm the handling of the C3 WRC with versatile settings in
conditions that called for a more tarmac-like set-up.
After a good night's rest, the crews have a busy schedule ahead of them tomorrow,
with VIP car experiences in the hills above Monaco, followed by interviews
and more photo sessions on the famous Place du Casino. Place du Casino is
where the ceremonial start will be held at 5.50pm, whilst the competitive
action kicks off at 9.43pm with the famous Thoard-Sisteron stage, contested
this year in the opposite direction for the first time ever.
WHAT THEY SAID
"The shakedown was generally dry at the start, although there were a
few muddy corners. The level of grip then gradually dropped off as more cars
came through the stage, but we nonetheless used the session to review the
various tyres one final time and try out one or two things. I'm pleased with
this final test, the times weren't especially representative, but the feeling
is always a good indicator, and it was good this evening. "
"We went with soft tyres on the first run, which probably weren't the
quickest option, but having said that, this evening wasn't really about setting
fast times. The shakedown provided some very useful information for the rest
of the rally and the positive point is that I really felt confident behind
the wheel of my Citroën C3 WRC. "
1.Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2002
2.Sordo / Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2003
3.Tänak / Jarveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2007
4.Meeke / Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) 2009
5.Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2010
6.Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2015
7.Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2016
8.Evans / Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2021
9.Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) 2029
10.Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2029
18-01-24 Frenchman begins push
for sixth straight FIA World Rally Championship title
Sébastien Ogier will begin his push for a sixth consecutive FIA World
Rally Championship title on home ground tomorrow (Thursday) at Rallye Monte-Carlo
The iconic winter asphalt rally is the first of 13 events on the 2018 calendar
and has special significance for Ogier, who was born near the host town of
The 34-year-old M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver will start with the best Monte
record of this year's crews, with five wins and unbeaten here in the WRC since
But the Monte's notoriously tricky mix of wet and dry asphalt, often covered
in slippery ice and snow, mean nothing can be taken for granted. Tyre strategy
plays a decisive role with conditions varying dramatically, often within a
Ogier warned Thursday nights opening speed test could prove decisive
in his bid to repeat his win 12 months ago. The classic Sisteron special stage,
the longest of the four-day event, will be driven in darkness and in the reverse
direction to normal.
Well start this year with what could be the biggest challenge
of the entire rally. It doesnt get much tougher than that, but thats
Monte. Its always a challenge and that will be the case from the very
first stage this year." Ogier explained.
Ogier's closest rival could be last year's championship runner-up, Hyundais
Thierry Neuville. The Belgian was a sensation in 2017, and led until the penultimate
day, when broken suspension shattered his hopes of a maiden Monte win.
"Thats what Monte is all about; its a tough challenge to
start the year," Neuville reflected. "We will aim to put all the
lessons learned from our participation in the recent editions of this event
to good use."
The rally marks the first appearance in a Toyota Yaris for Estonia's Ott Tänak,
who collected two wins last year with M-Sport Ford. Welshman Elfyn Evans replaces
Tanak as Ogier's team-mate.
The event will get underway on Thursday night from Casino Square in Monte-Carlo,
and finishes back in Monaco on Sunday afternoon after 17 stages covering 388.59km
in the French Alps.
18-01-24 Hyundai Motorsport
siktar mot toppen när 2018 FIA World Rally Championship startar i Monte-Carlo
Nu till helgen är det äntligen dags för starten av 2018 FIA
World Rally Championship. Öppningen med Rallye Monte-Carlo är det
första av totalt 13 rallyn markerade i årets WRC-kalender.
Hyundai Motorsport har ställt siktet mot och uttalat tydliga ambitioner
att köra för seger i både Förar- och Konstruktörsmästerskapet
det här året. Rivalerna hos M-Sport, Toyota och Citroën kommer
garanterat sträva efter samma mål så ännu en spännande
och jämn säsong är att vänta.
En trio av uppgraderade Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC kommer tillsammans med sina
besättningar representera Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team i Rallye
Monte-Carlo. Andreas Mikkelsen och Anders Jæger attackerar de 17 etapperna
i bil #4, Thierry Neuville och Nicolas Gilsoul siktar på seger i bil
#5 medan Dani Sordo och Carlos del Barrio kör #6.
Neuville ledde stort i Monte-Carlo förra året med imponerande körning.
Något som tyvärr slutade i en incident vilken tvingade honom till
att bryta under näst sista dagen. Belgaren fortsatte sedan dominera i
Power Stage där han tog hem maximala fem poäng.
2018 års version av Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC har genomgått ett omfattande
utvecklingsprogram under vintern. Tre dagars tester hölls norr om Nice
i Frankrike under december, följt av ytterligare tre dagar nära
Gap under nyår. Därefter åkte teamet till Spanien för
några sista dagar av utvärdering i en mängd olika förhållanden.
Alla besättningar som tävlar i Monte-Carlo fick chansen att bekanta
sig med bilen på torr och blöt asfalt likväl som på
snö och is. Allt för att vara förberedda på de olika
scenarion som Monte-Carlo kan ställa dem inför.
Team Principal, Michel Nandan kommenterar: Vi är så förberedda
vi bara kan inför kommande säsongen och redo för en ny kamp
om mästerskapstiteln. Bilens fina prestationer under förra säsongens
sista omgångar, speciellt segern i Australien gav oss en bra start inför
Vi har haft både bilar och team i Frankrike och Spanien för utveckling
den senaste månaden. Allt för att försöka återskapa
de väderförhållanden och underlag som vi kan vänta i
Monte-Carlo. Vad som är så spännande med det här öppningseventet
är just oförutsägbarheten. Därför måste vi
vara förberedda på allt. Vi vet att våra rivaler kommer vara
enastående och obevekliga så vi måste hela tiden vara på
topp. Nu river vi av omgång ett och hoppas på ännu ett klassiskt
Den norska duon bestående av Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe
WRC) inleder sin första kompletta WRC-säsong för Hyundai Motorsport
i Monte-Carlo. De siktar på att bygga vidare på en imponerande
debut under de sista tre omgångarna 2017 där duon var uppe i ledningen
under både Spanien och Australien samt slutade fyra i Wales Rally GB.
Mikkelsen berättar: Det är en fantastisk känsla att få
köra en hel WRC-säsong tillsammans med Hyundai Motorsport. Förra
året var lite frustrerande så jag siktar på ett mer konsekvent
2018 med massor av rallyn och vara med i kampen om mästerskapstiteln.
Monte är förstås ett extremt utmanande rally att starta året
på då det bjuder på alla möjliga förhållanden,
inklusive nattetapper som med blåis som snabbt kan sätta bilen
ur spel. Tillsammans med Anders är jag extremt laddad på att få
dra igång säsongen.
Belgarna Neuville och Gilsoul ledde förra årets Rallye Monte-Carlo
med 51 sekunder innan en olycka i SS13 satte dem ur spel. De hoppas nu att
erfarenheterna de samlat under senaste säsongerna skall placera dem högst
upp på pallen 2018 och med starkt resultat redan i inledningen.
Neuville säger: Spänningen inför den här WRC-säsongen
är extrem! Lanseringseventet i Birmingham för några veckor
sedan gjorde oss väldigt taggade och skapade en härligt positiv
känsla. Monte-Carlo är ett väldigt unikt rally där minsta
lilla fel kan bli ödesdigert. Precis vad som hände oss förra
året då vi ledde överlägset, till näst sista dagen
då ett litet misstag satte oss ur spel på ett väldigt frustrerande
sätt. Men det är precis vad Monte handlar om; det är en tuff
utmaning som rivstartar året. Vi kommer använda alla de läxor
vi lärt oss under tidigare WRC-upplagor för att ta oss till seger.
Monte-Carlo blir första av sju planerade WRC-event för den spanska
duon Sordo och Bel Barrio.
De delar säsongen och #6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC med Hayden Paddon och
Seb Marshall som gör sin debut under Rally Sweden. Sordo var den bäst
placerade föraren från Hyundai Motorsport i Monte-Carlo förra
året då han slutade på fjärde plats. En pallplats i
år är därför ett väldigt realistiskt inledande mål.
Sordo berättar: Jag är glad över att köra min femte
säsong för Hyundai Motorsport och få möjligheten att
starta i ett av de mest krävande eventen för säsongen
Monte-Carlo. Tillsammans med Hyundai Motorsport har vi utvecklat ett starkt
samarbete och trots att jag bara kommer köra sju rallyn i år siktar
jag på att få ut så mycket jag bara kan av dem. Jag har
en ny kartläsare för säsongen - Carlos, så det kommer
vara områden utveckla ihop men vi är optimistiska och skall ge
våra rivaler en rejäl match.
18-01-22 A regal return for
the Citroën C3 WRC
The countdown has begun: in a few days' time, the World Rally Championship
returns to action on the wintry roads of the Rallye Monte-Carlo. On its second
season in the category with the C3 WRC, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT
has opted for stability, its driver line-up once again consisting of Kris
Meeke Paul Nagle and Craig Breen Scott Martin.
AT ONE WITH YOUR CAR
At Monte, more so than elsewhere, the crews and teams really must know their
cars inside out. They need to be truly at one with the car, anticipating each
of its reactions as precisely as possible, so as not to get caught out by
the tricky conditions. Because sometimes, there can be a patch of black ice
that suddenly appears on a bend, other times there is a heap of soft snow
or even a puddle of water. Having developed the Citroën C3 WRC in 2016
and then competed in it last year, Kris Meeke and Craig Breen have racked
up a lot of miles in the car, in a wide variety of conditions and on various
road surfaces. This experience represents a clear advantage for the brand
at this, the 86th Rallye Monte-Carlo and the setting for the start of the
2018 season, which will see the C3 WRC tackle its second year in the WRC.
After spending its first year back in the category learning and improving,
secured two promising wins (Mexico and Catalonia) and finishing as runners-up
once (Germany), this campaign will be all about confirmation for the team.
The team's greatest hopes of success in Monte-Carlo rest with Kris Meeke,
who claimed both of Citroën's rally wins last year and is particularly
experienced at this event. Buoyed by what he learned in 2017, the Ulsterman
is determined to make the most of his experience and feature consistently
among the leaders this year. Finishing Monte without incident invariably means
you have made a good start to the season. Over the years and his numerous
appearances in the Principality, Kris has developed the ability to spot changes
in grip, and to drive with a mix of tyre compounds. Although not as familiar
with the roads around Monaco as his team-mate, Craig Breen does not intend
to be outdone. Having finished an excellent fifth overall at last year's rally
in the DS3 WRC, he has the potential to do even better this season in the
C3 WRC. In order to get the most out of the car, he like Kris Meeke
completed three days of intensive testing, split across two sessions.
The first session, held before Christmas, provided the team with the chance
to work on tarmac, varying from bone dry to absolutely soaking wet, whilst
the second session, held this week on roads around Gap, was intended to test
the C3 WRC in conditions as close as possible to those the crews will experience
next week, as well as on snow. These sessions also provided an opportunity
to continue with work done to maximise the car's operating window.
NO SHORTAGE OF DIFFICULTIES AHEAD
Anyone harbouring hopes of finishing on the podium opposite the Palais Princier
on Sunday will first of all need to successfully negotiate many hazards throughout
the event's four days of racing. Four legs that will see the competitors tackle
some of the most demanding roads in the Isère, Drôme, Hautes-Alpes,
Alpes de Haute Provence and Alpes-Maritimes departments. The action gets underway
on Thursday evening with one of the rally's truly iconic stages, Thoard-Sisteron.
Always tricky around the Col de Fontbelle, this year the stage is contested
in the opposite direction to usual, an unprecedented move, and in the dark.
The rally concludes with equally famous Col de Turini, on which the C3 WRC
claimed its very first stage win last year.
Initially contested in the dry, a thin layer of fresh snow fell on the stage
two hours later for the second pass. And therein lies the true challenge at
Monte-Carlo: its wintry nature, and the fact that road conditions can change
so quickly from one side of the mountain to the other, mean that tyre choice
is of absolutely critical importance. Based on experience from previous years,
with assistance from the ice and snow crews, and on-the-ground informants,
it is a matter of estimating what will be the best compromise on tyre choice
for the next loop of stages, whilst also adapting the cars settings
accordingly. It's a huge challenge.
WHAT THEY SAID
Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
"The new season is upon us, which obviously means both excitement and
uncertainty. After claiming second place in Germany and winning in Spain in
the second part of 2017, which confirmed the growing strength of the team,
I am determined to continue the work begun by Yves Matton, so that the team
picks up in 2018 where it left off at the end of last year. This is especially
the case since the C3 WRC has been further improved during the off-season,
with intensive work put into widening its operating spectrum. Kris Meeke has
the required experience to fight at the front at this unique event, as he
showed in 2016, whilst Craig gained a lot of confidence from last year's appearance
and is determined to use it to push for a good position. They both also know
that you can't approach this rally just like any other: you must remain composed
and treat the stages with the respect they deserve to avoid getting caught
out by one of the many tricky sections."
Christophe Besse, Technical Director
"Rallye Monte-Carlo is above all about the drivers and the tyres. You
need a car that is easy to drive, smooth in terms of its reactions, so that
the driver feels confident behind the wheel regardless of the level of grip
encountered. That's what our work focused on during the tests. The stages
are generally held on bumpy, uneven roads, which is why we also worked on
making further improvements to the C3 WRC's damper system. We equally tried
to run through a large number of potential conditions, be it ice or snow,
in the rain or on tarmac that was just cold and wet. On the one hand, the
idea was to try out the two new Michelin tyres, and on the other hand, it
was a matter of reviewing as wider range of tyre options as possible. As the
stages are grouped together in loops, you never really have the right tyres
at the right time. The challenge, therefore, is knowing how much time you'll
lose with studded tyres on dry tarmac in order to opt for the best compromise."
"Monte is probably one of the season's hardest rallies, because of the
constant changes in grip, but I've always really enjoyed it. I've also been
quick here. I won the event in the Junior WRC class in 2005, I picked up a
podium (3rd) on my full-time return to the WRC with Citroën in 2014 and
I fought for the win in 2016
So I think that we can do a good job here,
especially since our off-season tests were held on roads that are fairly representative
of what we'll be facing during the rally, with a good variety of weather conditions.
The test sessions also enabled us to keep improving the ability of our C3
WRC to adapt to changes in road surface, particularly by heading back to the
Col de Faye, which is where we were least comfortable last year."
Number of appearances at the event: 9
Best result: 3th (2014)
"Monte-Carlo is a rally that I love. It's a unique challenge, something
you don't get on any of the other events. Until 2017, however, I never felt
sufficiently confident in the kind of changeable, slippery conditions you
get here. But last year, with the old car, we surprised ourselves. With a
bit more horsepower, we could have aimed for the podium, so that gives me
confidence. I'd like to think we can do it this time around, even though I'm
not the most experienced driver in the line-up. Especially in that based on
what we learned in 2017, we come into this event better prepared and with
a C3 WRC that is even more versatile."
Number of appearances at the event: 3
Best result: 5th (2017)
17 timed stages covering a total of 388,59 km
4 types of Michelin tyres : snow tyre (Pilot Alpin A41), snow tyre with
studs (Pilot Alpin A41 CL), soft tyre (Pilot Sport S6) and super soft tyre
(Pilot Sport SS6). Both Pilot Sport S6 and Pilot Sport SS6 are brand-new ones.
7 wins for Citroën and Loeb-Elena in Rallye Monte-Carlo (2003-2005
in Xsara WRC, 2007-2008 in C4 WRC, 2012-2013 in DS3 WRC)
2 wins for the Citroën C3 WRC until now (Mexico and Spain 2017)
A RALLY, A CHALLENGE
The importance of the relationship between the crews and the ice/snow crews
At Monte-Carlo, the crew and their ice/snow crews must have a perfectly developed
understanding. The ice/snow crews run through the stages around two hours
before the WRC crews, armed with a copy of their pace notes in order to make
any corrections. The changes can be substantial on these stages if, for example,
it has snowed between recce and the start of the stage. The road conditions
also tend to change a lot between the first and second pass on a stage. The
difficulty for the ice/snow crews therefore involves having the same view
of the road as the crew would have, and also keeping the same, specific language
as the crew. Which is why an incredible amount of trust and knowledge of one
another is called for. Craig Breen has been working with Mikko Hirvonen (with
co-driver Andy Hayes) since 2016 whilst Kris Meeke has used the services of
Stephen Whitford and Derek Brannigan since 2014 and 2009 respectively.
Didier Clément, now Technical Coordinator and Customer Racing Manager,
"I remember when we won here in 2012 with Sébastien and Daniel.
They only really secured the win on the third leg, due to making the right
call on tyres, as is often the case at Monte-Carlo. That day, we had to contest
the Saint Jean en Royans stage, which was mostly damp or wet, and then Cimetière
de Vassieux, where there was snow and ice on the stage. So we needed soft-compound
slicks for the first stage, and studded tyres for the next one. But Seb was
worried about losing a lot of time on Saint Jean en Royans by going with a
mix of these two types of compound. Right up until a minute before the start,
there were only two soft-compound slicks on the car and two studded tyres
in the boot. But our analysis showed that we had to give preference to Cimetière
de Vassieux, by going with four studded tyres. He let me choose the two missing
tyres, which were of course two studded tyres. He produced an incredible performance
on Saint Jean en Royans, losing only sixteen seconds with his inappropriate
tyre set-up, before securing overall victory on the following stage thanks
to his four studded tyres."
RALLYE MONTE-CARLO SCHEDULE (GMT+1)
WEDNESDAY 24 JANUARY
4.00pm : shakedown (Gap)
THURSDAY 25 JANUARY
5.50pm : Start day 1 (Monaco Place du Casino)
9.43pm : SS 1 Thoard Sisteron (36,69 km)
10.51pm : SS 2 Bayons Bréziers 1 (25,49 km)
11.56pm : Flexi Service A (Gap 48')
FRIDAY 26 JANUARY
8.00am : Start day 2 and Service B (Gap 18')
8.51am : SS 3 Vitrolles Oze 1 (26,72 km)
10.04am : SS 4 Roussieux Eygalayes 1 (30,54 km)
11.37am : SS 5 Vaumeilh Claret 1 (15,18 km)
12.52pm : Service C (Gap 33')
1.58pm : SS 6 Vitrolles Oze 2 (26,72 km)
3.11pm : SS 7 Roussieux Eygalayes 2 (30,54 km)
4.44pm : SS 8 Vaumeilh Claret 2 (15,18 km)
5.49pm : Flexi Service D (Gap 48')
SATURDAY 27 JANUARY
6.57am : Start day 3 and Service E (Gap 18')
8.08am : SS 9 Agnières en Devoluy Corps 1 (29,16 km)
9.16am : SS 10 St Léger les Mélèzes La
Batie Neuve 1 (16,87 km)
10.31am : Service F (Gap 33')
11.57am : SS 11 Agnières en Devoluy Corps 2 (29,16 km)
1.08pm : SS 12 St Léger les Mélèzes La
Batie Neuve 2 (16,87 km)
2.23pm : Service G (Gap 33')
4.09pm : SS 13 Bayons Bréziers 2 (25,49 km)
5.29pm : Service H (Gap 48')
10.17pm : Parc ferme (Monaco)
SUNDAY 28 JANUARY
6.49am : Start day 4
8.32am : SS 14 La Bollène Vésubie Peira Cava 1
9.08am : SS 15 La Cabanette Col de Braus 1 (13,58 km)
10.55am : SS 16 La Bollène Vésubie Peira Cava
2 (18,41 km)
12.18pm : SS 17 La Cabanette Col de Braus 2 (13,58 km)
1.58pm : Parc ferme (Monaco)
3.00pm : Prize giving (Place du Palais Princier Monaco)
18-01-16 Emil Bergkvist kör
Junior-VM i rally 2018
2015 blev Torsåkers Emil Bergkvist Europeisk Juniormästare i Rally
för Opel Motorsport. Efter det har Emil kört två tuffa säsonger
i Rally-VMs s fyrhjulsdrivna klass WRC2 med mycket problem och uteblivna
framgångar. Nu nysatsar Emil och kommer köra Junior-VM, JWRC, i
en tvåhjulsdriven Ford Fiesta ihop med kartläsaren Ola Floene.
Jag är oerhört tacksam över att få chansen att
köra Junior-VM, säger Emil.
Framför allt vill jag tacka Jourdan Serderidis och J-Motorsport,
utan dom skulle det inte vara möjligt.
JWRC drivs av det Brittiska Ford-teamet M-Sport och alla deltagare kör
i identiska Ford Fiesta R2T. 2018 görs mästerskapet över fem
deltävlingar och startar i Sverige genom Rally Sweden i mitten på
Emil, som haft stora framgångar i R2-bilar tidigare, ser fram emot utmaningen.
Detta känns som helt rätt steg i min karriär, nu kommer
jag kunna fokusera mer på körningen och hoppas att resultaten ska
komma, fortsätter Emil.
Junior-VM bjuder i år på en stor prispott där vinnaren får
en egen Ford Fiesta R5 med fria startavgifter, däck och bränsle
i 2019-års WRC2-mästerskap.
Vi är ödmjuka inför uppgiften och är beredda på
en tuff utan i och med att alla kör likadana bilar.
Jag kommer ta med mig mina tidigare erfarenheter från både EM
och VM och hoppas dra nytta av det för att kunna slåss om VM-titeln,
Förutom Emil Bergkvist tävlar även Värmlänningen
Dennis Rådström i JWRC. Dennis, som slutade femma i serien förra
året, blir en av de tuffaste konkurrenterna i mästerskapet.
Junior-WRC 2018 avgörs över fem tävlingar; Sverige, Korsika,
Portugal, Finland och Turkiet.
18 -01-11 Ford storsatsar på
rallyteamet M-Sport inför FIA World Rally Championship 2018
Ford utökar sitt samarbete med rallyteamet M-Sport, vinnare av FIA World
Rally Championship (WRC). Teamet kommer erbjudas ett utökat tekniskt
och finansiellt stöd, lett av Mark Rushbrook, global chef för Ford
Ford utökar nu samarbetet med rallyteamet M-Sport under 2018, med tekniskt
och finansiellt stöd. Teamet kommer köra rallybilen Ford Fiesta
WRC, baserad på den nya Fiestan, försedd med Fords 1,6-liters EcoBoost-bensinmotor.
Ford har haft en relation med M-Sport i över 20 år, vilket
bidragit till en rad framgångar på olika nivåer inom rallysporten,
och det är vi väldigt stolta över. Samarbetet har också
etablerat Fiestan som en klassiker inom rallyvärlden. Förra året
stöttade vi M-Sport med utvecklingen av den nya Fiestan, som senare kom
att vinna FIA World Rally Championship. Vi hoppas nu kunna ge ännu mer
uppbackning under 2018, säger Mark Rushbrook, global chef för Ford
Vi har en fantastiskt bra relation med Ford och har haft det under
många år, därför känns det extra kul att samarbetet
utökas under 2018 när vi ska försöka försvara våra
titlar i FIA World Rally Championship, säger Malcolm Wilson OBE, vd för
Bakgrund Ford Performance
Ford Performance fungerar som ett innovationslaboratorium och testcenter för
att kunna skapa unika prestandafordon, delar, tillbehör och upplevelser
för Fords kunder. Det omfattar utveckling av innovationer och tekniker
inom aerodynamik, lättviktsmaterial, elektronik, drivlineprestanda och
bränsleekonomi som sedan kan implementeras ännu bredare i Fords