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Ogier opens title defence on Monte

2014-01-19 09:25

PLEASING THE CROWDS: French driver Sebastien Ogier powers his VW Polo R on Stage 10 of the 2014 and 82nd Monte Carlo rally near Sisteron south-eastern France. Image: AFP


Sebastien Ogier blundered on tyre choice and crashed into a wall during the opening stage of 2014 World Rally championship in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Gregory Blachier

MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Frenchman Sebastian Ogier has begun his 2014 World Rally title defence with a commanding win in tricky weather at the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally on Saturday.

The VW driver, who won his first World crown in 2014, dominated from Day 2 and easily mastered his rivals in the rain-hit final stages of the race.

It was his 17th career win with a lead of 1min18.9 over compatriot Bryan Bouffier (Ford). Briton Kris Meeke was third for Citroen, 36sec further back.


It was a perfect start for the World champion; he also took two bonus points by finishing second behind team mate Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland in the final power stage in heavy rain.

Ogier wrote on his Twitter feed seconds after he crossed the finish line: "It's been tough, we're happy to finish. I wasn't in a mood to take risks for bonus points, already perfect."

The Frenchman didn't need to take chances after extending his lead by winning the final day's first two stages.

The penultimate stage, raced on snow, was cancelled after Jaroslav Melicharek's Ford slid and blocked the road.


That helped Bouffier and Meeke, who secured their first podium finishes in the main WRC category.

Meeke, 34, was the first Briton to claim a top-three spot since the late Colin McRae in Monte Carlo in 2003. He said on the WRC website:

"I've never seen anything like this. I'm delighted to be here on my first event with the Citroen factory team. Thanks to (team principal) Yves Matton for his faith in me."

Result from the Rally of Monaco on Saturday
1 Sebastien Ogier (France) vw 3hr55min14.4
2 Bryan Bouffier (France) Ford +01min18.9
3 Kris Meeke (Britain) Citroen +01min54.3
4 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen +03min53.9
5 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) vw +06min08.3
6 Elfyn Evans (Britain) Ford +08min37.4
7 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) vw +11min42.3
8 Jaroslav Melicharek (Slovakia) Ford +21min56.2
9 Matteo Gamba (Italy) Peugeot +23min50.7
10 Yuriy Protasov (Ukraine) Ford +25min43.1

Drivers' and Constructors' points after the Rally of Monaco
1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen Motorsport - 27
2 Bryan Bouffier (France) M-Sport Ltd - 18
3 Kris Meeke (Britain) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 16
4 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen Motorsport - 13
5 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 12
6 Elfyn Evans (Britain) M-Sport Ltd - 8
7 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen Motorsport II - 6
8 Jaroslav Melicharek (Slovakia) Slovakia World Rally Team - 4
9 Matteo Gamba (Italy) Matteo Gamba - 2
10 Yuriy Protasov (Ukraine) Yuriy Protasov - 1

1 Volkswagen Motorsport - 35
2 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 27
3 M-Sport Ltd - 8
4 vw Motorsport II - 6
Hyundai Motorsport - 0
RK M-Sport World Rally Team - 0
Jipocar Czech National Team - 0
Slovakia World Rally Team - 0

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