Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
43 days
MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
20 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
26 days
Formula E
R
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
34 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
40 days
23 Apr
Next event in
47 days

Monte Carlo WRC: Neuville wins season opener for Hyundai

Thierry Neuville has taken victory ahead of Sebastien Ogier in a thrilling end to the 2020 WRC season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.

Hyundai driver Neuville was in imperious form on Sunday, winning both stages in the first loop, and he maintained that dominance as he won the 18.41km La Bollene Vesubie - Peira Cava test, 1.4s ahead of the Toyota Yaris of Ogier.

It looked like Ogier was going to win the Power Stage, but Neuville matched Ogier’s time to take the stage win by a few hundredths of a second, meaning the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC driver won all four stages of the day to seal his first Monte Carlo triumph.

Ogier's Toyota squadmate Elfyn Evans started the final loop of the day in second place, and clung on to that position after SS15, but the Yaris driver dropped to 11.1s behind Neuville, and only had a 1.5s advantage over his teammate Ogier going into the final stage of the rally.

He then lost a further 3.2s to his teammate in the final run through La Cabanette - Col De Braus meaning he finished third overall.

Esapekka Lappi had another strong run on the second loop in his M-Sport Fiesta WRC, finishing fourth-fastest in the 13.36km La Cabanette - Col De Braus stage, and securing fourth overall, while Sebastien Loeb struggled again in the final loop.

The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC driver was having to conserve his tyres considerably more than anyone else after “completely” destroying a tyre in the final stage of the first loop.

The seven-time Monte Carlo winner was so slow that he lost 49.1 seconds to Lappi on SS15 and was another 49 seconds slower than the M-Sport Fiesta WRC in the power stage.

That meant that Toyota driver Kalle Rovanpera was able to leapfrog Loeb to secure fifth place in the rally.

Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota) had a clean run in the second loop and finished seventh, while M-Sport driver Teemu Suninen had an impressive run in the final run through La Cabanette - Col De Braus to jump up to eighth.

Citroen C3 driver Eric Camilli secured victory in the WRC3 class and ended up ninth, 11.8s behind the Fiesta WRC of Suninen.

Mads Ostberg celebrated his WRC2 victory by doing a doughnut at the final hairpin of the 13.36km Power Stage, as he rounded out the top 10.

Mads Østberg, Torstein Eriksen, PH Sport Citroen C3 R5

Mads Østberg, Torstein Eriksen, PH Sport Citroen C3 R5

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Monte Carlo WRC: Neuville leapfrogs Toyota duo

Previous article

Monte Carlo WRC: Neuville leapfrogs Toyota duo

Next article

Breen replaces Loeb in Hyundai's WRC line-up for Sweden

Breen replaces Loeb in Hyundai's WRC line-up for Sweden
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Monte Carlo
Sub-event Day 4
Drivers Thierry Neuville , Sébastien Ogier , Elfyn Evans
Teams Hyundai Motorsport
Author Rob Hansford
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021
The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season Prime

The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season

The 2020 World Rally Championship bestrode all 12 months of the Gregorian calendar, and in terms of the competition it was a cracker. Moreover, it was an inspiration in dark days for the world and our industry.

WRC
Jan 1, 2021
The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb Prime

The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb

A series of close calls in his formative years threatened to leave rallying's top echelon tantalisingly out of reach for the man who would go on to claim nine WRC titles. In an exclusive interview, Sebastien Loeb recalls the key steps on his road to dominance.

WRC
Dec 11, 2020
Why the WRC's unorthodox Monza ending was a necessary one Prime

Why the WRC's unorthodox Monza ending was a necessary one

The Monza Rally was an unusual way to end an unusual WRC season, and while far from ideal, without it the series could have faced serious ramifications. To persuade stakeholders to commit to an uncertain future, Monza was an important showcase…

WRC
Dec 9, 2020