Daniel Elena, who finished 52nd overall on Rallye Monte Carlo last week, has described the 'special feeling' he experienced by completing the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season-opener.

Elena, the seven-time world champion co-driver and five-time Rallye Monte Carlo-winning navigator, was taking part in a Citroen DS3 R3 on a rare outing behind the wheel.

After overcoming a few early mechanical problems, Elena was one of 60 drivers to earn the right to tackle the four event-closing night stages, including two passes over the legendary Col de Turini, by
completing stage nine inside the top-60 cut-off.

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"It was a very special privilege, not just to finish the rally, but to drive the Turini stages," he said. "I
had a big enjoyment on this rally, but now I have another more important job to do."

Elena finished 25th in the IRC 2WD Cup, which was won by Corsican Pierre Campana. Defending champion Harry Hunt finished 20th in the division after he lost seven minutes on the first stage when he went off the road overtaking a slower car.