The 2014 FIA World Rally Championship kicked off this past weekend with the first event being the Rallye Monte-Carlo. Reigning champion Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia scooped the win in this first round, under tough weather conditions in their VW Polo R WRC with Volkswagen Motorsport team. Ogier now leads the standings with 27 points.
The French duo finished 18.9 seconds ahead of fellow countrymen Bryan Bouffier and Xavier Panseri in their Ford Fiesta RS WRC while Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle closed the podium spots by finishing third in their Citroën DS3 WRC. Ogier does not only lead in the drivers’ standings, when points from his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala are added, they also lead in the manufacturers’ points by four points over the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
The Monte-Carlo round composed of two looping stages; the Col de Turini stage which is known for pouring rain and fog and covers 79.9km and the Sospel stage that covers 16.55km and also acts as the power stage. In the power stage, the fastest three cars are awarded extra points, in this case it was Latvala, Ogier and Meeke who took points from this stage.
At one time in the race, there was too much snow in the Turini stage such that Jaroslav Melicharek got stuck and this forced the officials to neutralize this stage, teams were forced to go straight for the power stage. Nevertheless, it was a successful rally, the teams will be headed for the second round of the FIA WRC on Feb 5th, its the famous Rally Sweden!