Monte Carlo- leg one

AllwaysRcn

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FIA RALLY NEWS - http://www.fia.com
RALLYE AUTOMOBILE MONTE-CARLO

Friday, 24 January 2002

Reigning world champion Marcus Gronholm started the defence of his
driver’s title in fine style on today’s opening leg of Rallye Monte Carlo,
round one of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Gronholm and his co-driver Timo Rautiainen were never headed throughout
the opening loop of six stages in the mountains around Gap, north of the
rally’s Monaco base. Gronholm admitted he felt more at home running
studded tyres on the snow and ice, which littered the morning’s tests,
than using slick tyres in the afternoon.

Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb was clearly at home on the drier asphalt,
blasting his way up the leaderboard to end the day in second place, 20.6
seconds off the lead. Loeb was fastest on stage five and joint fastest
with his team-mate Colin McRae on the sixth.

McRae was third on his debut in the Xsara WRC, having held second earlier
in the leg.

The opening day of this year’s Rallye Monte Carlo went badly for the
Subaru team, when both cars retired on stage five. Petter Solberg had
shown well early on, holding second at lunchtime.
 

AllwaysRcn

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FIA RALLY NEWS - http://www.fia.com
RALLYE AUTOMOBILE MONTE-CARLO - http://www.acm.mc


Sunday, 26 January 2003

Sebastien Loeb led a jubilant Citroen team to a dream result on the Monte
Carlo Rally. The Frenchman won the opening round of the 2003 FIA World
Rally Championship by 38.1 seconds from team-mate Colin McRae. Carlos
Sainz brought his Xsara WRC home in third place to ensure a clean sweep of
the podium positions for the Versailles-based team.

Loeb and McRae were untroubled throughout the final loop of four stages to
the north of the rally’s Monaco base. Sainz, however, was made to fight
for third after his car hit brake trouble on the opening stage. Ford’s
Markko Martin moved ahead of Sainz after SS12 ensuring a nail-biting
finish to this classic event. Martin spun his Focus RS WRC02 on the
penultimate stage dropping ten seconds. Fastest time for Sainz through the
final stage of the rally was enough for the Spaniard to get third place
back.

Peugeot 206 WRC driver Richard Burns finished fifth behind Martin with
leading privateer Cedric Robert sixth in his Peugeot.
 
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