Volkswagen Motorsports has kicked off the WRC season on a high note by claiming a 1-2-3 finish at the 2015 Monte Carlo Rally. Following their big win in the championship last year, their fire still burns hot after Sebastien Ogier drove to victory leading fellow teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen for the masterful clean podium sweep.
This was Ogier’s third win at the Monte Carlo Rally albeit all was not as easy as the words describe it. He faced stiff competition from 7-time Monte Carlo winner and WRC legend Sebastian Loeb who was driving a Citroen DS3. After winning most of the stages, the Frenchman who currently races in WTCC, broke his rear suspension after hitting a rock losing his competitive advantage. Ogier together with his VW teammates did not leave any chances thereafter till the finish line.
An excited Ogier said, “Winning Monte-Carlo means a lot for every driver, but especially for me It’s the most important rally of the season. The weather makes it a huge challenge but the satisfaction is great when you make it. This event had the best atmosphere I have experienced on a rally. When I drove the stage close to my home village the atmosphere was magical.”
The rally had mixed surfaces of snow, gravel and asphalt with snow dominating most of it and this gave the drivers a tricky time choosing the tyres. After facing engine problems and having to reset his power unit, Norwegian Mads Ostberg finished in fourth driving a Citroen DS3. Thierry Neuville drove his Hyundai i20 home in fifth place ahead of teammate Dani Sordo while Elfyn Evans gave Ford the best finish by finishing seventh in a Fiesta RS.
Loeb finished in eighth despite losing most of his time repairing his car. Rally legend Robert Kubica had already showed enough speed and won four stages before driving into a tree. He suffered electrical problems but his fate was sealed officially after he crashed in the penultimate stage due to brake problems.
The next round will head over to Sweden which is the only true winter rally in the calendar.