Thierry Neuville’s electrifying win at Monte-Carlo Rally

Thierry Neuville has snatched victory from Toyota’s defending champ Sebastien Ogier in the 2020 World Rally Championship season-opening Monte-Carlo Rally which ended Sunday.

Neuville was on absolutely brilliant form, winning both stages of the first loop of the race, then beating Ogier by 1.4 seconds in the La Bollene Vesubie-Piera Cava race and following that with an exciting Wolf Power Stage win-by-a-whisper, making the Hyundi i20 driver the victor in all four stages of the day, and giving him his first WRC Monte-Carlo Rally win.

“We had an incredible feeling the last couple of days and we were able to catch back the time,” said Neuville after the win. “We have been chasing this win for a while but we showed our performance this weekend and it’s a great way to start the season.” 

Elfyn Evans went into the day in a solid second place, but fell behind the leader by over 11 seconds, and eventually came in a respectable third after his Toyota teammate.  

Sebastien Loeb had a disappointing day when his Hyundai i20 Coupe’s tire was wrecked during the final stage of the first loop. The best driver in WRC history, therefore, came in sixth overall after fourth place Esapekka Lappi and fifth place Kalle Rovanpera.

Defending champion Ott Tanak suffered a huge crash after he lost control of his Hyundai i20, the car cartwheeling before rolling several metres down an embankment. Tanak and co-driver Martin Jarveoja emerged unscathed from the shunt.

The race covered a total of over 304 kilometres and was raced from the 23rd to the 26th of January through a variety of challenging conditions. Starting at the Quai Albert 1er and ending at Casino Square, it spanned sixteen stages, some snow and ice covered.

Photo: Automobile Club of Monaco