Volkswagens Clean Up in WRC Opener – 2015 Monte Carlo Rally Report

The Monte Carlo Rally always promises drama and this year’s event was no exception. Featuring a stellar line up of drivers including nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb and the reigning title holder Sebastien Ogier, it was the latter who prevailed to take his 25th career victory, putting him joint-fourth with Colin McRae for the most wins ever. Ogier’s team Volkswagen also completed a clean sweep of the podium, following their domination for the last two seasons, with Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen bringing home second and third positions.

However it was Loeb who quickly launched his Citroen into an early lead on the opening two stages run in the dark. Despite not driving in the WRC since his “retirement” in 2013, Loeb finished third in last year’s World Touring Car Championship and there appeared to be no rust as he was able to pull away from the reigning champion. Ogier though, not to be outdone by his namesake, took the lead on stage 7 when Loeb suffered a spin. The battle reached its conclusion on the very next stage however when Loeb hit a wall and broke his suspension. It was a huge blow for Loeb and for Citroen, with team-mate Kris Meeke retiring from fourth on the very same stage. That left the three Volkswagen cars, as they had been for much of last season, running at the front, with Ogier holding a cushion of nearly two minutes over his team-mate Latvala, who in turn was nearly a minute clear of Mikkelsen. Ott Tanak, on his return to the top tier of the sport, was holding a solid overnight fourth place ahead of the surviving Citroen of Mads Ostberg, with Tanak’s team-mate Elfyn Evans in sixth. The Hyundais were struggling slightly in seventh and eighth, while last year’s runner-up Bryan Bouffier crashed out of the rally on only the second stage, proving the Monte Carlo conditions are as difficult as ever.


The second day featured just four stages which included the mammoth 51.70km of Lardier de Valenca to Faye but after the first stage of the day was cancelled, the crews were faced with the hardest test of the rally. The main casualty was Tanak who lost eighteen minutes when his car slid off the road, whilst eleventh-placed Lorenzo Bertelli stopped for over an hour on the same test. Fastest through by some distance was former F1 driver Robert Kubica, though he was down the order after mechanical failures and an off. Ogier took no risks though, meaning his lead to Latvala was cut to just over a minute. The Finnish driver continued to chip away at his team-mate’s advantage, leaving the gap at 42.8 seconds overnight. The Volkswagens remained in a comfortable position however, with nearly a minute separating Mikkelsen from Ostberg. Both Hyundais moved past the damaged Ford of Evans on the final stage of the day whilst Loeb and Meeke continued their fight backs to occupy the final points-paying places behind the Ford of Martin Prokop.


The final day of the Monte Carlo Rally featured just three stages but included the power stage and the world famous Col de Turini. Brake problems though meant that Latvala was forced to settle for second behind his team-mate Ogier, who cruised through the three stages to take his 25th WRC career victory, putting him joint fourth with legend Colin McRae on the list of the most wins of all time. Mikkelsen took a comfortable third place with his countryman Ostberg the highest placed Citroen in fourth. There was a huge battle for fifth place between the two Hyundais but it was Thierry Neuville who pipped Dani Sordo by just 0.8 of a second. Evans was the highest place Ford in seventh and one place ahead of the recovering Loeb, who finished eight and a half minutes adrift after his first day retirement. Loeb’s team-mate and Power Stage winner Meeke took tenth with Prokop the meat in the Citroen sandwich. Henning Solberg finished eleventh whilst Kubica crashed out on the penultimate stage after the finishing line. Twelfth and winner in WRC 2 was last year’s Junior WRC champion Stephane Lefebvre in a Citroen DS3 R5. He won his class by two minutes ahead of Irish driver Craig Breen with veteran Armin Kremer taking third place. Winner in JWRC and WRC 3, and twenty-second overall was Frenchman Quentin Gilbert, with WRC stalwart Francois Delacour winning the inaugural RGT Cup driving a Porsche 997 GT3.

2015 Rallye Monte Carlo Results

Pos. Driver Name Co-Driver Name Car Time/Diff
1 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Volkswagen Polo R WRC 3:36:40.2
2 J. Latvala M. Anttila Volkswagen Polo R WRC +58.0
3 A. Mikkelsen O. Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC +2:12.3
4 M. Ostberg J. Andersson Citroen DS3 WRC +2:43.6
5 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 WRC +3:12.1
6 D. Sordo M. Marti Hyundai i20 WRC +3:12.8
7 E. Evans D. Barritt Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5:23.7
8 S. Loeb D. Elena Citroen DS3 WRC +8:34.7
9 M. Prokop J. Tomanek Ford Fiesta RS WRC +9:54.8
10 K. Meeke P. Nagle Citroen DS3 WRC +10:55.6


WRC Drivers’ Championship After Round 1

Pos. Driver Name MC Total Points
1 S. Ogier 25 25
2 J. Latvala 18+1 19
3 A. Mikkelsen 15 15
4 M. Ostberg 12 12
5 T. Neuville 10 10
6 D. Sordo 8 8
7 E. Evans 6 6
8 S. Loeb 4+2 6
9 K. Meeke 1+3 4
10 M. Prokop 2 2

Monte Carlo Rally Logo

WRC Manufacturers’ Championship After Round 1

Pos. Team Name MC Total Points
1 Volkswagen 43 43
2 Hyundai 27 27
3 Citroen 12 12
4 M-Sport 12 12
5 Jipocar Czech 6 6
6 F.W.R.T 1 1

WRC 2 Results

Pos. Driver Name Co-Driver Name Car Time/Diff
1 S. Lefebvre S. Prevot Citroen DS3 R5 3:49:36.7
2 C. Breen S. Martin Peugeot 208 T16 +2:14.0
3 A. Kremer K. Wicha Skoda Fabia S2000 +2:27.0
4 E. Camilli B. Veillas Ford Fiesta R5 +4:59.7
5 J. Hirschi V. Landais Peugeot 208 T16 +9:52.8
6 Q. Giordano V. Sarreaud Citroen DS3 R5 +17:17.0
7 A. Foulon G. Delarche Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +1:02:39.2
8 M. Vallario A. Pascale Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +1:25:07.6


WRC 3/JWRC Results

Pos. Driver Name Co-Driver Name Car Time/Diff
1 Q. Gilbert R. Jamoul Citroen DS3 R3T Max 4:08:32.7
2 C. Riedemann M. Wenzel Citroen DS3 R3T Max +2:23.7
3 O. Veiby A. Jaeger Citroen DS3 R3T Max +3:31.4
4 S. Tempestini M. Chiarcossi Citroen DS3 R3T Max +5:28.4
5* S. Consani M. Vilmot Renault Clio RS RST +9:24.9
6 Y. Rossel B. Fulcrand Citroen DS3 R3T Max +11:27.7
7 A. Re G. Ciucci Citroen DS3 R3T Max +12:04.5
8 K. Lukacs M. Mesterhazi Citroen DS3 R3T Max +20:02.4
9 C. Dalmasso M. Delon Citroen DS3 R3T Max +39:10.4

*Not eligible for JWRC points


RGT Cup Results

Pos. Driver Name Co-Driver Name Car Time/Diff
1 F. Delacour D. Savignoni Porsche 997 GT3 RGT 4:10:01.6
2 R. Dumas D. Giraudet Porsche 997 GT3 RGT +2:52.2
3 M. Duez S. Vyncke Porsche 996 GT3 RGT +16:16.0


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