Neuville leads opening night of WRC Monte Carlo

Jack Cozens
Neuville leads opening night at Monte Carlo

Thierry Neuville dominated the second stage of the Monte Carlo Rally as he outshone his new Hyundai World Rally Championship team-mate Ott Tanak and Toyota's Sebastien Ogier.

Neuville was 6.4 seconds slower than Toyota's 2020 arrival Ogier on the opening Malijai - Puimichel test, but went more than 25s faster than anyone else on stage two as he coped far better with the icier conditions than the rest of the World Rally Car contenders.

That left the 2019 WRC runner-up with a 19.1s advantage over Ogier heading into Friday's first full day of stages, with Tanak third after his first two competitive stages in Hyundai colours.

Ogier was fastest on the dry opening stage, and 1.8 seconds faster than reigning champion Tanak over the 10.86-mile test, and consolidated his advantage over the 2019 champion on the Bayons - Breziers test despite being overtaken in the order by the rapid Neuville.

Tanak ended both stages in the top three, but said the second test had been much more challenging than he anticipated - a result of both the icy road conditions and visibility issues through the opening half of the stage caused by spectators' flares.

He was 29.7s slower than his pacesetting team-mate on SS2, and will start the second day three tenths ahead of the second Toyota Yaris WRC of Elfyn Evans in the competitive order.

Evans was the only one of the leading four to opt for studded tyres for the second stage as he completed the test 0.2s slower than Tanak, and will start more than 25s clear of fifth place.

Neuville leads opening night at Monte Carlo

That position is occupied by seven-time Monte Carlo Rally winner Sebastien Loeb in Hyundai's third i20 Coupe WRC, while Esapekka Lappi sits sixth despite a tricky start to the rally for M-Sport.

The Ford squad encountered difficulty immediately as all three of its cars suffered overheating issues on the first stage when leaves blocked their cars' radiators, with Teemu Suninen, Lappi and Gus Greensmith placing seventh, eighth and 10th respectively of the 11 World Rally Cars.

All three refused to comment on the issues at the stage end, but M-Sport team principal Richard Millener admitted before the start of SS2 that, despite engineers' attempts to solve the problem between the stages, there was "nothing we can do" to account for the size of the grille on this event.

Lappi said his car was "fine, more or less" by the end of the second stage, but he still ended up 52.6s slower than Neuville and is already a minute down on the rally leader.

There was further despair for the team as Suninen parked up with a transmission issue.

Kalle Rovanpera was an impressive fifth on his first WRC stage in Toyota's third Yaris and, though he was more tentative on the second stage, sits seventh in the order.

He is ahead of the leading WRC2 entries of Eric Camilli and Mads Ostberg (both Citroen C3) and the Hyundai i20 R5 of Ole Christian Veiby.

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 RC1 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 26m23.5s - 0
2 RC1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 26m42.6s 19.1s 0
3 RC1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 26m48.6s 25.1s 0
4 RC1 Elfyn Evans, S.Martin Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 26m48.9s 25.4s 0
5 RC1 Sebastien Loeb, D.Elena Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 27m14.5s 51.0s 0
6 RC1 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 27m31.3s 1m07.8s 0
7 RC1 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 27m42.0s 1m18.5s 0
8 RC2 Eric Camilli, F-X.Buresi Eric Camilli Citroen 28m22.1s 1m58.6s 0
9 RC2 Mads Ostberg, T.Eriksen PH Sport Citroen 28m23.1s 1m59.6s 0
10 RC2 Stephane Sarrazin, K.Parent Stephane Sarrazin Hyundai 28m43.1s 2m19.6s 0
11 RC2 Ole-Christian Veiby, J.Andersson Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 28m44.8s 2m21.3s 0
12 RC1 Takamoto Katsuta, D.Barritt Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 28m50.6s 2m27.1s 0
13 RC1 Gus Greensmith, E.Edmondson M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 29m08.2s 2m44.7s 0
14 RC2 Nicolas Ciamin, Y.Roche Nicolas Ciamin Citroen 29m12.0s 2m48.5s 0
15 RC2 Gregoire Munster, L.Louka Gregoire Munster Skoda 29m21.8s 2m58.3s 0
16 RC2 Yohan Rossel, B.Fulcrand PH Sport Citroen 29m22.8s 2m59.3s 0
17 RC2 Yoann Bonato, B.Boulloud Yoann Bonato Citroen 29m23.3s 2m59.8s 0
18 RC2 Franck Sias, O.Mathias Franck Sias Skoda 29m28.4s 3m04.9s 0
19 RC2 Oliver Solberg, A.Johnston Oliver Solberg Volkswagen 29m39.1s 3m15.6s 0
20 RC2 Umberto Scandola, G.D'Amore Umberto Scandola Hyundai 30m01.4s 3m37.9s 0
21 RC2 Olivier Burri, A.Levratti Olivier Burri Volkswagen 30m03.5s 3m40.0s 0
22 RC2 Andrea Nucita, B.Di Caro Andrea Nucita Hyundai 30m10.7s 3m47.2s 0
23 RC2 Nikolay Gryazin, Y.Fedorov Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 30m20.4s 3m56.9s 0
24 RC1 Deividas Jocius, M.Varza M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 31m00.8s 4m37.3s 0
25 RC2 Rhys Yates, J.Morgan M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 31m23.3s 4m59.8s 0
26 RC2 Nicolas Latil, R.Roche Nicolas Latil Volkswagen 31m42.3s 5m18.8s 0
27 RC2 Adrien Fourmaux, R.Jamoul M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 31m46.4s 5m22.9s 0
28 RC2 Mauro Miele, L.Beltrame Mauro Miele Skoda 32m10.8s 5m47.3s 0
29 RC4 Sean Johnston, A.Kihurani Sean Johnston Peugeot 32m27.3s 6m03.8s 0
30 RC3 Thibaut Poizot, M.Grand Thibaut Poizot Renault 32m39.7s 6m16.2s 0
31 RC2 Christophe Ganguet, E.Frison Christophe Ganguet Ford 32m46.2s 6m22.7s 0
32 RC2 Paulo Nobre, G.Morales Paulo Nobre Skoda 32m50.2s 6m26.7s 0
33 RC4 Damien Oberti, T.Escartefigue Damien Oberti Peugeot 33m06.2s 6m42.7s 0
34 RC2 Philippe Baffoun, M.Maurin Philippe Baffoun Ford 33m10.8s 6m47.3s 0
35 RC3 Ismael Vuistiner, F.Kummer Ismael Vuistiner Renault 33m21.3s 6m57.8s 0
36 RC3 Franck Grandordy, P.Vincent Franck Grandordy Renault 33m28.4s 7m04.9s 0
37 RC3 Boris Carminati, M.Lacruz Boris Carminati Renault 33m37.9s 7m14.4s 0
38 RC4 Victor Cartier, M.Margaillan Victor Cartier Ford 33m42.5s 7m19.0s 0
39 RC2 Eamonn Boland, M.J.Morrissey Eamonn Boland Ford 33m57.1s 7m33.6s 0
40 RC2 'Pedro', E.Baldaccini Pedro Ford 33m57.8s 7m34.3s 0
41 RC2 Raphael Astier, F.Vauclare Raphael Astier FIAT 33m58.2s 7m34.7s 0
42 RC4 Renaud Dolce, Q.Giroud Renaud Dolce Peugeot 33m59.6s 7m36.1s 0
43 RC3 Jeremy Caradec, C.Amoros Jeremy Caradec Renault 34m15.5s 7m52.0s 0
44 RC2 Enrico Brazzoli, M.Barone Enrico Brazzoli Skoda 34m17.5s 7m54.0s 0
45 RC2 Bertrand Pierrat, A.Chevalier Bertrand Pierrat Volkswagen 34m38.7s 8m15.2s 0
46 RC4 Tony Ribaudo, J.Degrange Tony Ribaudo Peugeot 34m43.6s 8m20.1s 0
47 RC2 Alessandro Gino, D.Fappani Alessandro Gino Skoda 34m56.2s 8m32.7s 0
48 RC4 Remy Rota, J.Escartefigue Remy Rota Peugeot 35m27.9s 9m04.4s 0
49 RC4 Nikos Pavlidis, A.Harryman Nikolaos Pavlidis Peugeot 36m14.2s 9m50.7s 0
50 RC4 Sacha Althaus, L.Zbinden Sacha Althaus Peugeot 36m15.2s 9m51.7s 0
51 RC2 Ermanno Dionisio, F.Grimaldi Ermanno Dionisio Dacia 36m26.3s 10m02.8s 0
52 RC5 Mickael Boisseranc, C.C.-Rolland Mickael Boisseranc Ford 36m28.0s 10m04.5s 0
53 RC2 Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio, M.Bosi Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio Skoda 36m29.2s 10m05.7s 0
54 RC3 Eric Filippi, F.Mazotti Eric Filippi Renault 36m31.7s 10m08.2s 0
55 RC1 Teemu Suninen, J.Lehtinen M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 36m34.2s 10m10.7s 0
56 RC3 Gregory Dizier, S.Dizier Gregory Dizier Renault 36m37.5s 10m14.0s 0
57 RC2 Henk Vossen, E.Berkhof Henk Vossen Ford 36m43.7s 10m20.2s 0
58 RC3 Rachele Somaschini, C.Lombardi Rachele Somaschini Citroen 36m49.7s 10m26.2s 0
59 RC4 Pascal Eouzan, P.Eouzan Pascal Eouzan Peugeot 36m51.5s 10m28.0s 0
60 RC4 Michel Ducreux, A.Raoult Michel Ducreux Peugeot 36m55.6s 10m32.1s 0
61 RC2 Miguel Diaz-Aboitiz, D.Sanjuan Miguel Diaz-Aboitiz Skoda 37m02.6s 10m39.1s 0
62 RC5 Richard Desbordes, S.Desbordes Richard Desbordes Citroen 37m02.9s 10m39.4s 0
63 RC4 Alessandro Prosdocimo, M.L.Zanet Alessandro Prosdocimo Peugeot 37m03.3s 10m39.8s 0
64 RC4 Thibault Lefebvre, P.Barbier Thibault Lefebvre Peugeot 37m12.2s 10m48.7s 0
65 RC5 Christopher Garcin, F.Nicoulau Christopher Garcin Ford 37m25.4s 11m01.9s 0
66 RC3 Lilian Vialle, M.Ghirardello Lilian Vialle Renault 37m41.0s 11m17.5s 0
67 RC5 Benjamin Duhamel, S.Szys Duhamel Benjamin Renault 37m50.3s 11m26.8s 0
68 RC4 Laure Jaussaud, J.T.-Escartefigue Laure Jaussaud Renault 37m53.2s 11m29.7s 0
69 RC3 Martin Lemaire, P.Barboni Martin Lemaire Citroen 37m58.7s 11m35.2s 0
70 RC4 Jean-Pierre Gatti, R.Belleville Jean-Pierre Gatti Peugeot 37m59.0s 11m35.5s 0
71 RC4 Gilles Michellier, C.Richard Gilles Michellier Peugeot 38m06.4s 11m42.9s 0
72 RC5 Baptiste Martin, J.Troin Baptiste Martin Renault 38m18.0s 11m54.5s 0
73 RC4 Carlo Covi, M.Lorigiola Carlo Covi Ford 38m26.3s 12m02.8s 0
74 RC4 Julien Cartagena, A.Aubery Julien Cartagena Peugeot 38m43.0s 12m19.5s 0
75 RC5 Christophe Berard, C.Bernabo Christophe Berard Ford 38m52.0s 12m28.5s 0
76 RC3 Domenico Ramoino, B.Banaudi Domenico Ramoino Renault 38m52.3s 12m28.8s 0
77 RC5 Thierry Lartillier, C.Lemoine Thierry Lartillier Renault 39m15.0s 12m51.5s 0
78 RC5 Alain Cusimano, E.Massin Alain Cusimano Renault 39m37.6s 13m14.1s 0
79 RC4 Bernard Jaussaud, C.Jaussaud Bernard Jaussaud Renault 39m38.9s 13m15.4s 0
80 RC4 Zoltan Laszlo, T.Begala Martin Laszlo Ford 39m49.0s 13m25.5s 0
81 RC4 Mathias Juanico, L.Pascaud Mathias Juanico Peugeot 40m02.6s 13m39.1s 0
82 RGT Luc Caprasse, R.Herman Luc Caprasse Abarth 40m18.9s 13m55.4s 0
83 RC4 Marc Dessi, P.Dessi Marc Dessi Peugeot 40m36.9s 14m13.4s 0
84 RC5 Ronald Villy, J.Villy Ronald Villy Citroen 40m41.7s 14m18.2s 0
85 RC5 Jean-Marc Jerusalmi, G.Luthen Jean-Marc Jerusalmi Renault 42m39.0s 16m15.5s 0
86 RC2 Pepe Lopez, B.Rozada Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 48m22.1s 21m58.6s 0
Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 RC1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 9m53.4s - 0
2 RC1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 9m55.2s 1.8s 0
3 RC1 Elfyn Evans, S.Martin Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 9m55.3s 1.9s 0
4 RC1 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 9m59.8s 6.4s 0
5 RC1 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 10m03.6s 10.2s 0
6 RC1 Sebastien Loeb, D.Elena Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 10m04.3s 10.9s 0
7 RC1 Teemu Suninen, J.Lehtinen M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 10m10.5s 17.1s 0
8 RC1 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 10m15.0s 21.6s 0
9 RC1 Takamoto Katsuta, D.Barritt Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 10m20.6s 27.2s 0
10 RC1 Gus Greensmith, E.Edmondson M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 10m27.1s 33.7s 0
11 RC2 Eric Camilli, F-X.Buresi Eric Camilli Citroen 10m29.1s 35.7s 0
12 RC2 Adrien Fourmaux, R.Jamoul M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 10m31.9s 38.5s 0
13 RC2 Yoann Bonato, B.Boulloud Yoann Bonato Citroen 10m34.4s 41.0s 0
14 RC2 Mads Ostberg, T.Eriksen PH Sport Citroen 10m37.1s 43.7s 0
15 RC2 Ole-Christian Veiby, J.Andersson Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 10m38.7s 45.3s 0
16 RC2 Stephane Sarrazin, K.Parent Stephane Sarrazin Hyundai 10m41.0s 47.6s 0
17 RC2 Nicolas Ciamin, Y.Roche Nicolas Ciamin Citroen 10m47.2s 53.8s 0
18 RC2 Nikolay Gryazin, Y.Fedorov Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 10m51.4s 58.0s 0
19 RC2 Yohan Rossel, B.Fulcrand PH Sport Citroen 10m51.6s 58.2s 0
20 RC2 Franck Sias, O.Mathias Franck Sias Skoda 10m53.6s 1m00.2s 0
21 RC2 Andrea Nucita, B.Di Caro Andrea Nucita Hyundai 10m53.8s 1m00.4s 0
22 RC2 Rhys Yates, J.Morgan M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 11m01.8s 1m08.4s 0
23 RC2 Oliver Solberg, A.Johnston Oliver Solberg Volkswagen 11m03.3s 1m09.9s 0
24 RC2 Gregoire Munster, L.Louka Gregoire Munster Skoda 11m10.4s 1m17.0s 0
25 RC2 Olivier Burri, A.Levratti Olivier Burri Volkswagen 11m10.9s 1m17.5s 0
26 RC2 Raphael Astier, F.Vauclare Raphael Astier FIAT 11m15.2s 1m21.8s 0
27 RC2 Umberto Scandola, G.D'Amore Umberto Scandola Hyundai 11m17.9s 1m24.5s 0
28 RC1 Deividas Jocius, M.Varza M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 11m30.6s 1m37.2s 0
29 RC2 Alessandro Gino, D.Fappani Alessandro Gino Skoda 11m32.8s 1m39.4s 0
30 RC2 Mauro Miele, L.Beltrame Mauro Miele Skoda 11m33.2s 1m39.8s 0
31 RC2 Nicolas Latil, R.Roche Nicolas Latil Volkswagen 11m44.8s 1m51.4s 0
32 RC2 Eamonn Boland, M.J.Morrissey Eamonn Boland Ford 12m05.6s 2m12.2s 0
33 RC4 Sean Johnston, A.Kihurani Sean Johnston Peugeot 12m09.9s 2m16.5s 0
34 RC2 Christophe Ganguet, E.Frison Christophe Ganguet Ford 12m24.7s 2m31.3s 0
35 RC3 Thibaut Poizot, M.Grand Thibaut Poizot Renault 12m27.4s 2m34.0s 0
36 RC2 'Pedro', E.Baldaccini Pedro Ford 12m30.2s 2m36.8s 0
37 RC2 Philippe Baffoun, M.Maurin Philippe Baffoun Ford 12m32.3s 2m38.9s 0
38 RC4 Damien Oberti, T.Escartefigue Damien Oberti Peugeot 12m33.4s 2m40.0s 0
39 RC3 Ismael Vuistiner, F.Kummer Ismael Vuistiner Renault 12m34.2s 2m40.8s 0
40 RC2 Paulo Nobre, G.Morales Paulo Nobre Skoda 12m34.9s 2m41.5s 0
41 RC2 Enrico Brazzoli, M.Barone Enrico Brazzoli Skoda 12m39.0s 2m45.6s 0
42 RC4 Renaud Dolce, Q.Giroud Renaud Dolce Peugeot 12m43.1s 2m49.7s 0
43 RC2 Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio, M.Bosi Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio Skoda 12m46.0s 2m52.6s 0
44 RC3 Boris Carminati, M.Lacruz Boris Carminati Renault 12m47.5s 2m54.1s 0
45 RC3 Franck Grandordy, P.Vincent Franck Grandordy Renault 12m48.5s 2m55.1s 0
46 RC4 Victor Cartier, M.Margaillan Victor Cartier Ford 12m49.8s 2m56.4s 0
47 RC2 Bertrand Pierrat, A.Chevalier Bertrand Pierrat Volkswagen 13m02.9s 3m09.5s 0
48 RC4 Remy Rota, J.Escartefigue Remy Rota Peugeot 13m04.7s 3m11.3s 0
49 RC4 Tony Ribaudo, J.Degrange Tony Ribaudo Peugeot 13m07.0s 3m13.6s 0
50 RC3 Jeremy Caradec, C.Amoros Jeremy Caradec Renault 13m18.5s 3m25.1s 0
51 RC2 Miguel Diaz-Aboitiz, D.Sanjuan Miguel Diaz-Aboitiz Skoda 13m24.0s 3m30.6s 0
52 RC4 Zoltan Laszlo, T.Begala Martin Laszlo Ford 13m27.8s 3m34.4s 0
53 RC3 Rachele Somaschini, C.Lombardi Rachele Somaschini Citroen 13m30.0s 3m36.6s 0
54 RC2 Ermanno Dionisio, F.Grimaldi Ermanno Dionisio Dacia 13m34.1s 3m40.7s 0
55 RC4 Nikos Pavlidis, A.Harryman Nikolaos Pavlidis Peugeot 13m34.3s 3m40.9s 0
56 RC3 Lilian Vialle, M.Ghirardello Lilian Vialle Renault 13m35.3s 3m41.9s 0
57 RC4 Sacha Althaus, L.Zbinden Sacha Althaus Peugeot 13m35.5s 3m42.1s 0
58 RC4 Pascal Eouzan, P.Eouzan Pascal Eouzan Peugeot 13m37.5s 3m44.1s 0
59 RC3 Eric Filippi, F.Mazotti Eric Filippi Renault 13m42.1s 3m48.7s 0
60 RC3 Gregory Dizier, S.Dizier Gregory Dizier Renault 13m44.1s 3m50.7s 0
61 RC2 Henk Vossen, E.Berkhof Henk Vossen Ford 13m50.7s 3m57.3s 0
62 RC4 Alessandro Prosdocimo, M.L.Zanet Alessandro Prosdocimo Peugeot 13m57.3s 4m03.9s 0
63 RC3 Domenico Ramoino, B.Banaudi Domenico Ramoino Renault 14m29.7s 4m36.3s 0
64 RC4 Michel Ducreux, A.Raoult Michel Ducreux Peugeot 14m32.2s 4m38.8s 0
65 RC3 Martin Lemaire, P.Barboni Martin Lemaire Citroen 14m38.1s 4m44.7s 0
66 RC5 Mickael Boisseranc, C.C.-Rolland Mickael Boisseranc Ford 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Mathias Juanico, L.Pascaud Mathias Juanico Peugeot 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Julien Cartagena, A.Aubery Julien Cartagena Peugeot 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Benjamin Duhamel, S.Szys Duhamel Benjamin Renault 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Gilles Michellier, C.Richard Gilles Michellier Peugeot 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RGT Luc Caprasse, R.Herman Luc Caprasse Abarth 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Marc Dessi, P.Dessi Marc Dessi Peugeot 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Christopher Garcin, F.Nicoulau Christopher Garcin Ford 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Thibault Lefebvre, P.Barbier Thibault Lefebvre Peugeot 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Thierry Lartillier, C.Lemoine Thierry Lartillier Renault 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Bernard Jaussaud, C.Jaussaud Bernard Jaussaud Renault 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Alain Cusimano, E.Massin Alain Cusimano Renault 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Christophe Berard, C.Bernabo Christophe Berard Ford 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Carlo Covi, M.Lorigiola Carlo Covi Ford 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Jean-Marc Jerusalmi, G.Luthen Jean-Marc Jerusalmi Renault 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Ronald Villy, J.Villy Ronald Villy Citroen 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Laure Jaussaud, J.T.-Escartefigue Laure Jaussaud Renault 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Baptiste Martin, J.Troin Baptiste Martin Renault 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC5 Richard Desbordes, S.Desbordes Richard Desbordes Citroen 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
66 RC4 Jean-Pierre Gatti, R.Belleville Jean-Pierre Gatti Peugeot 14m40.8s 4m47.4s 0
86 RC2 Pepe Lopez, B.Rozada Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 20m29.1s 10m35.7s 0

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