The 2013 WRC season kicked off in snowy Monte Carlo this past weekend. A lot of excitement surrounded the debut of the Volkswagen Polo R rally cars piloted by Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala. Both Ogier and Latvala showed that the car definitely has what it takes to hang with Citroen and Ford. Ogier took an impressive second place finish for the VW team, but to little surprise reigning champion Sebatien Loeb took the victory in his Citroen.
The victory was Loeb’s 77th WRC win. “I’m always happy when I win, and Monte-Carlo is one of the most exciting rallies I’ve done. This one was really, really difficult. The conditions were extreme compared to what we have usually and winning wasn’t easy.”
The conditions were indeed very tricky, with snow and ice on all stages and claimed multiple casualties. After hanging around the top 5 for most of the event, the snow and ice finally got Latvala and ended his VW debut on the final night. After Evgeny Novikov, Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hanninen all crashed out the organizers decided to cancel the final 2 stages due to safety concerns.
Dani Sordo returned to a Citroen driving for the Abu Dhabi team finishing in third. He battled with Novikov for most of the event until Novikov lost a wheel and was forced to retire, securing Sordo’s podium finish.
Mikko Hirvonen had a very frustrating rally, but the demise of Latavala and Novikov helped him to finish in 4th. Another Citroen piloted by Bryan Bouffier finished in 5th and Mads Ostberg was the first Ford to finish in 6th.
Next up is Rally Sweden on February 7-10. Check out wrc.com for more details.