The much-anticipated entry list for the Monte Carlo Rally has been published and confirms the worse kept secret that Elfyn Evans will drive for the M-Sport World Rally Team in the opening WRC event in the number three Ford Fiesta WRC; on DMACK tyres, alongside team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tanak who will run on Michelin. Is this the highest position a Welshman has ever started the iconic Monte Carlo Rally?
Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia are listed on the entry at number one, interestingly, the first time an M-Sport car has started the season in that position. Hayden Paddon, Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo drive the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRCs numbered four, five and six and under the new regulations, the top two finishers from those three registered drivers can score manufacturer points.
Citroen and Toyota field two 2017 cars each, with Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre taking the wheel of C3 WRCs and Jari-Matti Latvala and Finnish countryman Juho Hanninen drive Toyota Yaris WRCs. Irishman Craig Breen will tackle the season opener in a 2016-spec DS 3 WRC run by the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi Team and is expected to make his debut in the 2017 car at next month's Rally Sweden.
Skoda is back in the WRC2 series, with Andreas Mikkelsen leading its attack, with Jan Kopecky as his team-mate in the second factory Fabia R5. Eric Camilli is demoted to a Fiesta R5, confirmed by M-Sports WRC2 entry for the Frenchman on the Monaco and Gap-based rally.
Greek driver Jourdan Serderidis is the only FIA WRC Trophy entrant in a DS 3 WRC and this year's FIA R-GT Cup is boosted by three Fiat 124 entries, including one from former Monte winner Francois Delecour whos main class rival will be the Porsche 911 of race driver Romain Dumas.
Monte Carlo Rally leading entries
1 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC
2 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja Ford Fiesta WRC
3 Elfyn Evans/Dan Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC
4 Hayden Paddon/John Kennard Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
5 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
6 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
7 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle Citroen C3 WRC
8 Stephane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau Citroen C3 WRC
10 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC
11 Juho Hanninen/Kaj Lindstrom Toyota Yaris WRC
12 Craig Breen/Scott Martin DS3 WRC
3rd January, 2017
The International Rally Driver's Club wishes all members, supporters and friends a very happy Christmas and successful new year. Please watch the website and facebook for plans and events for 2017.
23rd December, 2016
The Annual General Meeting of the club will take place at 11:00 am Saturday 26th November in the Media Centre at Castle Combe Race Circuit Wiltshire. Post Code SN14 7EY. The AGM will be followed by a committee meeting to discuss the club calendar and other plans for 2017.
All members are welcome to attend and prospective new members should contact Membership Secretary Alun Morgan:- email@example.com
For more information please contact Ken Davies - Press & Media 07532 477192
23rd November, 2016
Andreas Mikkelsen claim victory on Rally Australia for Volkswagen, the last WRC rally for the German manufactirer. The Norwegian had led the final round of the 2016 WRC season throughout, but under increasing pressure from Sebastien Ogier and Hyundai's Hayden Paddon. Mikkelsen started the final morning just 2 seconds ahead of Ogier and having increased his lead to 2.6s on Sundays first stage, Mikkelsen then watched it increase to more than 20s when Ogier spun on SS20 and Paddon hit a bank which shredded his left-rear tyre.
He topped SS21 to end the Sunday morning loop firmly in command, then drove sensibly on the two stages that ended the rally to win by 14.9s. Powerstage winner Ogiers error was not severe enough to do any damage to his race result but Paddons dropped him from third to fifth behind his two Hyundai team mates but he took fourth back from Dani Sordo by 1.6 seconds before the end of the rally, with Neuville comfortably holding third.
Behind the trio of Hyundais Mads Ostberg was a lonely sixth for the M Sport team, which ended the rally with one Fiesta running after Eric Camilli rolled out of seventh on the final morning and the Frenchmans mistake promoted Ott Tanak to seventh in the M Sport customer Fiesta run by the D MACK team. This also allowed Skodas Esapekka Lappi to clinch the WRC2 title with a top eight finish on a rally he had dominated his class in, finishing more than four and a half minutes clear.
The third VW of Jari Matti Latvala made it back to ninth after his victory bid ended on the opening morning when he hit a bridge on the first stage and after damaging his suspension had been clawing back time and positions since.
Pos ..... Driver ..... Team ..... Car ..... Gap
1. Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Volkswagen Motorsport 2h46m05.7s
2. Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Volkswagen Motorsport 14.9s
3. Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 1m12.6s
4. Hayden Paddon, J.Kennard Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 1m26.7s
5. Dani Sordo, M.Marti Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 1m28.3s
6. Mads Ostberg, O.Floene M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 1m41.5s
7. Ott Tanak, R.Molder DMACK World Rally Team Ford 3m04.3s
8. Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Skoda Motorsport Skoda 7m32.3s
9. Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Volkswagen Motorsport 7m56.9s
10. Lorenzo Bertelli, S.Scattolin FWRT s.r.l. Ford 8m00.1s
2016 Drivers Championship Top Ten Final positions
Pos .... Driver .... Points
1. Sebastien Ogier 268
2. Thierry Neuville 160
3. Andreas Mikkelsen 154
4. Hayden Paddon 138
5. Dani Sordo 130
6. Jari-Matti Latvala 112
7. Mads Ostberg 102
8. Ott Tanak 88
9. Kris Meeke 64
10. Craig Breen 36
20th November, 2016