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Loeb closes on Rallye Monte Carlo win

“Definitely we made the wrong choice with the soft tyres,” Novikov added. “It was really difficult to drive, especially in the twisty, downhill sections and the car was understeering a lot. We're not making any changes in service and we'll try hard this evening. The stages are very difficult but for sure I'm enjoying it a lot.”

Pierre Campana, who is piloting the second works MINI WRC car on this event, is next up, having posted two solid sixth best times in SS14 and SS15, followed by Ott Tanak, in the third M-Sport Ford WRT car, and then SWRC class leader, P-G Andersson in his Proton Satria Neo S2000.

“I'm enjoying the stages,” Tanak said. “It was a little damp in some places but mainly dry. These are difficult stages - the second half of the second stage [SS15] is all downhill and it's not easy for sure. We made the right choice with the hard tyre which worked well in the second half of the stage, but we're not pushing. We need to think carefully in service and make sure we make the right tyre choice again. The important thing for us is to make it to the end.”

Martin Prokop rounds out the top ten and is now on course for the final drivers' point, having moved in front of Armindo Araujo in SS14. Araujo was not happy with his tyres. Of the rest, Go Fast Energy WRT men, Matthew Wilson and Henning Solberg hold positions 13 and 14, with Craig Breen 15th in his Fiesta S2000.

“This afternoon's stages were a real challenge,” Wilson reflected. “We had a heart-stopping moment before the start line [of SS15] - the dash froze and then our intercom became stuck on road mode, which made it difficult to concentrate throughout the stage [SS15]. I have to thank everyone for keeping quiet on the stage, otherwise it would have been a nightmare!”

“I'm quite happy with the stages” Henning added. “I had soft tyres, which was not ideal. We lost quite a lot of time but that's the way it is and we have to live with that. I think we have to make the change to hard tyres [this evening] and then maybe that will make things easier.”

Day four now concludes this afternoon, with a repeat run through this morning's two stages. SS16, the 23.41 km Moulinet-La Bollène Vésubie test, is scheduled to start at 19.34 hours local time [18.34 hours UK time].


Rally Monte Carlo: Overall standings after Stage 15 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 4hours 00mins 10.9secs M
2. Dani Sordo MINI WRC Team John Cooper Works WRC +02mins 30.7secs M
3. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +03mins 10.6secs M
4. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +03mins 41.1secs M
5. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +05mins 13.2secs M
6. Francois Delecour M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +06mins 49.3secs
7. Pierre Campana MINI WRC Team John Cooper Works WRC +08mins 05.6secs M
8. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 18.0secs M
9. P-G Andersson Proton Motorsport Satria Neo S2000 +15mins 00.4secs S
10. Martin Prokop Czech Ford National Team Fiesta RS WRC +15mins 22.3secs

Others

11. Armindo Araujo Armindo Araujo WRT MINI Cooper Works WRC +15mins 28.0secs M
12. Kevin Abbring Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +16mins 48.8secs
13. Matthew Wilson Go Fast Energy WRT Fiesta RS WRC +17mins 21.8secs
14. Henning Solberg Go Fast Energy WRT Fiesta RS WRC +18mins 59.5secs
15. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta S2000 +22mins 02.6secs S
16. Bryan Bouffier Peugeot 207 S2000 +26mins 34.4secs
17. Michael Burri Peugeot 207 S2000 +27mins 49.1secs
18. Cedric Robert Citroen DS3 R3T +28mins 47.7secs
28. Michal Kosciuszko Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +47mins 26.4secs P


SWRC standings after Stage 15:

1. P-G Andersson Proton Motorsport Satria Neo S2000 4hours 15mins 11.3secs S
2. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta S2000 +07mins 02.2secs S


PWRC standings after Stage 15:

1. Michal Kosciuszko Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 4hours 47mins 37.3secs P
2. Louise Cook Ford Fiesta ST +1hour 18mins 53.6secs P


Notable retirements:*

SS1. Giandomenico Basso Proton Motorsport Satria Neo S2000 Accident S
SS2. Lorenzo Bertelli Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX Gearbox P
SS3. Julien Maurin Ford Fiesta RS WRC Mechanical
SS4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Rolled M
SS4. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC Retired

SS5. Peter van Merksteijn Sr van Merksteijn Motorsport Citroen DS3 WRC Mechanical
SS10. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 Accident

* Note: There is no Rally 2 (as the SupeRally has been renamed for this year) on Rallye Monte Carlo.


all times unofficial




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroen DS 3, Citro‘n Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroen DS 3, Citro‘n Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroen DS 3, Citro‘n Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroen DS 3, Citro‘n Total World Rally Team
SŽbastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroen DS 3, Citro‘n Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroen DS 3, Citro‘n Total World Rally Team

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beszti - Unregistered

January 21, 2012 6:19 PM

Moreover, Matty is after to S2000 car, one of them is driving a Proton... The nasty part is the Go Fast sponsors his and Henning's program, instead of going to the real Fast team (MINI)... What a waste of mones...



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