Loeb Wins Rallye Monte Carlo for 6th time
After what seems like a WRC rally marathon lasting almost a week Citroen's Sebastien Loeb driving a Citroen Total WRT DS3 has won the 2012 Rallye Monte Carlo, 2 minutes 45.5 seconds ahead of Dani Sordo in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC car with Petter Solberg completing the podium trio for Ford ahead of Mikko Hirvonen and Evgeny Novikov.
In truth, the result has never really been in doubt since the rally started on Tuesday and following Latvala's opening burst of speed and ignominious exit from the rally on Wednesday, Loeb took control, settling into the devastatingly quick, safe and consistent driving style that has now seen him victorious on this rally 6 times and secured him 8 world rally championships. To complete the perfect working week, Seb secured maximum World Rally Championship points by scoring three bonus points with victory on the event-closing Power Stage so who'd bet against him adding a ninth world title in 2012?
Erratic weather conditions in the mountains called for appropriate choices of tyre and played a major part in the outcome of the 2012 rally but although it was the same for everyone, Loeb always seemed to be on the right rubber; largely due to the efficiency of Citroen's hard-pressed ice note crews who anticipated and read the changing conditions to perfection. Doubtless Seb will be buying dinner for a large table of emotional Frenchmen at some exclusive principality restaurant tonight!
The IRDC extends congratulations to Sebastien Loeb, co-driver Daniel Elena and the Citroen team on their outstanding Rallye Monte Carlo performance.
Rally Monte Carlo: Overall standings after Stage 18 (Top 20):
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 4hours 32mins 39.9secs
2. Dani Sordo MINI WRC Team John Cooper Works +02mins 45.5secs
3. Petter Solberg WRT Fiesta RS +03mins 14.2secs
4. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 +04mins 06.8secs
5. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS +06mins 03.4secs
6. Francois Delecour M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS +07mins 47.9secs
7. Pierre Campana MINI WRC Team John Cooper Works +08mins 31.4secs
8. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS +10mins 34.6secs
9. Martin Prokop Czech Ford National Team Fiesta RS +16mins 10.7secs
10. Armindo Araujo WRT MINI Cooper Works +16mins 16.6secs
11. Matthew Wilson Go Fast Energy WRT Fiesta RS +18mins 51.0secs
12. Kevin Abbring Skoda Fabia S2000 +18mins 56.3secs
13. Henning Solberg Go Fast Energy WRT Fiesta RS +20mins 16.3secs
14. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta S2000 +24mins 26.3secs
15. Bryan Bouffier Peugeot 207 S2000 +27mins 25.4secs
16. Michael Burri Peugeot 207 S2000 +30mins 19.5secs
17. Cedric Robert Citroen DS3 R3T +32mins 27.7secs
18. Olivier Burri Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +35mins 30.5secs
19. Sebastien Chardonnet Renault Clio R3 +36mins 55.3secs
20. Paulo Nobre Palmeirinha MINI John Cooper Works +38mins 59.7secs
30. Michal Kosciuszko Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +1hr 02mins 34.9secs P
36. Eamonn Boland Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +1hr 07mins 55.2secs
54. Louise Cook Ford Fiesta ST +2hour 29mins 59.7secs P
22nd January, 2012