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Ogier breaks record with ninth Monte Carlo Rally win

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Ogier breaks record with ninth Monte Carlo Rally win

Sebastien Ogier wins 2023 Rallye Monte-Carlo, beats team-mate Rovanperä by 18.5s, Neuville in 3rd with 44.6s behind.

The last day of the rally promised a close competition between Rovanperä and Ogier, with the Finn 16s behind the Frenchman. However, Ogier started the day strong by winning the first stage and increasing his lead to 18.7s.

Rovanperä expressed his lack of confidence during the stage, stating: “I am not fully happy. I did this stage last year and I was not on the pace, so for sure it was not easy now to step up.”

Although Rovanperä lacked confidence, Neuville’s spin on stage and subsequent hybrid issue caused him to fall 37.1s behind Ogier, eliminating any immediate threat from behind.

Despite Rovanperä winning the following stage and gaining 1.5s, it was not enough to significantly reduce Ogier’s lead with only two stages left. Neuville was looking over his shoulder at a potential challenge from Evans, but with the latter managing his tires, Neuville was able to extend his gap.

Ogier breaks record with ninth Monte Carlo Rally win 2023

On SS17, Ogier further cemented his lead by beating Rovanperä by 6.3s, with Katsuta coming in between them in the stage standings. All Ogier had to do to secure his victory was finish the final stage, the Wolf Power Stage, without any issues.

And that’s what he did, Ogier navigated the final stage without problems, Rovanperä beat Tänak and Evans to win the stage, but the gap between him and Ogier was only 4.7s. This gave Ogier a historic ninth victory in the Rallye Monte-Carlo.

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“It’s huge. I love this rally, it’s the one that gave me my dream right at the beginning and I am so happy for Vincent. It’s nice for me, but for him, it’s a dream to take his first win.”

Rovanperä was content with his second place overall and leading the power stage. “It was a good one. I think we can be quite happy with second place. There was much more cleaning than I expected on Thursday and Friday, and it seems when we were in the same conditions as everyone, we had the same pace as everyone else.”

Since Ogier only participated in a part-time schedule, Rovanperä is currently leading the full-time drivers in the overall standings.

Ogier breaks record with ninth Monte Carlo Rally win 2023

Neuville secured the third place but was disappointed with the car’s lack of speed during the stage. “I gave it everything in there, but we had so much tyre wear compared to the others all weekend and we are missing speed. Even if we are taking some risks at some points, we can’t match the others.”

Elfyn Evans finished fourth, but the Welshman was left wondering what could have been. The car was running at a good pace and in second place early on, but a Friday puncture caused significant time loss and a podium finish was out of reach.

Tänak placed fifth in a challenging first rally for him in the Ford Puma Rally1. Various issues from the start left Tänak with little chance to adapt to the event.

Tänak’s teammate, Pierre-Louis Loubet, was the only Rally1 driver who did not finish the first round of the season. On Sunday, a broken handbrake and then a technical problem before the penultimate test of the rally forced him to retire, making it a rally to forget for the new full-time M-Sport driver.

Takamoto Katsuta finished sixth, coming close to overtaking Tänak, but suffered an issue in the final test that almost allowed Dani Sordo to catch up. Esapekka Lappi finished last among the Rally1 drivers in a disappointing debut with Hyundai.

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Monte Carlo Rally 2023

  1. Sebastien Ogier (Fra-Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) in 3h 12’02”0
  2. Kalle Rovanpera (Fin-Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 18”8
  3. Thierry Neuville (Bel-Hyundai i20 N Rally1) at 44”6
  4. Elfyn Evans (Gb-Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 1’12”4
  5. Ott Tanak (East-Ford Puma Rally1) at 2’34”9
  6. Takamoto Katsuta (Giap-Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 3’32”6
  7. Dani Sordo (Spa-Hyundai i20 N Rally1) at 3’47”5
  8. Esapekka Lappi (Fin-Hyundai i20 N Rally1) at 3’51”3
  9. Nikolaj Gryazin (Rus-Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) at 10’03”4
  10. Yohan Rossel (Fra-Citroen C3 Rally2) at 10’07”9

Ogier Monte Carlo Rally Ogier Monte Carlo Rally

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2023 F1 Car Launches
TeamCar NameDate
HaasVF-2331 January
Red BullRB1903 February
WilliamsFW4506 February
Alfa RomeoC4307 February
AlphaTauriAT0411 February
Aston MartinAMR2313 February
McLarenTBA13 February
FerrariTBA14 February
AlpineA52316 February
MercedesW1416 February

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