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Monte Carlo - 24-27 Jan 19

Posted: January 27, 2019 1:04 PM - 2212 Hits

Round 1 - 2019 World Rally Championship

WRC: Live Results (Monte Carlo 2019) Also available at: rally-base results & ewrc-results.com
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website:acm.mc/en/edition/rallye-monte-carlo-edition-2019/

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
Shakedown - Thu - 09:00
SS1 Thu - 18:38
SS3 Fri - 08:11
SS9 Sat - 07:48
SS13 Sun - 07:20

M-SPORT FORD FOCUSED ON STRONG MONTE PERFORMANCE

Posted: January 18, 2019 5:45 PM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team are focused on delivering a strong performance at the opening round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship – Teemu Suninen, Elfyn Evans and Pontus Tidemand all pushing for the best possible result at the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Refusing to rest on the five laurels secured over the past two years, M-Sport and Ford’s strong technical partnership continues and the leading EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs will carry a number of significant upgrades next week.

Revisions to the rear bumper and louvres have been introduced to improve performance and durability on the aerodynamics, while new dampers and electronics increase usability. The lamp pods have evolved to incorporate adaptive lighting, and an engine upgrade delivers an appreciable increase in performance.

The Cumbrian squad have also conducted two comprehensive test sessions in the lead-up to Rallye Monte-Carlo – a development test with Suninen at the end of last year and a more targeted pre-event test with all three drivers last week.

Encountering a number of varying conditions, the team are as prepared as they can be and are ready to tackle one of rallying’s most notoriously challenging events.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive this year. Of course we need to be realistic and know how strong the competition will be, but we’ve proven ourselves more than capable and have no intention of slowing down.

“The team have been focused on development and we’re bringing a number of upgrades to Monte-Carlo with more to come over the next six months. We’ve also got a lot of potential in our young and ambitious drivers. Elfyn, Teemu and Pontus are all keen to show what they can do next week, and we plan on giving them everything they need to succeed.

“I fully expect another exciting year of close-fought competition, and our goal is to be in the fight for victories as well as podiums – showcasing the performance of the Fiesta and supporting all of our crews as they take the next step in their respective careers.”

RALLYE MONTE-CARLO LEGENDARY SEASON OPENER

As the oldest event in the FIA World Rally Championship, Rallye Monte-Carlo has iconic status and is one of the most unpredictable and challenging events of the year. It’s a rally that every driver wants to win, and they’ll all be pushing towards that goal next week.

Famed for its varied conditions, it’s not uncommon to see dry asphalt, ice and snow in the space of a single stage and the crews will need to find the best compromise for each leg – shrewd tyre choices and set-up configurations often making all the difference.

ELFYN EVANS
SCOTT MARTIN
Elfyn Evans joins forces with new co-driver Scott Martin and the pairing will be looking to start their partnership on a high by challenging for the podium positions at Rallye Monte-Carlo. To best prepare, the pairing conducted a two-day test and have spent a number of days perfecting their new partnership with plenty of pacenote practice in advance of the recce!

Evans has contested Rallye Monte-Carlo on five previous occasions and will be looking to secure his best Monte result next week. The Welshman deserved more than a sixth-place finish last year – denied an opportunity to fight for what would have been a place in the top-three when having to stop and change a puncture on the opening speed test.

Previous starts: 5
Best result: 6th (2018, 2017 and 2014)

Elfyn Evans said:
“I’m looking forward to getting this season underway and seeing what myself and Scott can achieve together. We’re both really motivated and determined to secure some strong results this year – and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be doing that from the very first event in Monte.

“We know from last year that we have the speed and the team have been working really hard to improve the car even further. It felt good on the test and we managed to get a feel for a lot of different conditions – damp to wet Tarmac on the first day followed by full snow on the second.

“I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of an event like Monte, but I tend not to look at the forecasts too far in advance. The weather is constantly changing and you need to be able to adapt to the conditions and make the correct tyre choices at short notice – something we’re very much focused on doing next week.”

TEEMU SUNINEN
MARKO SALMINEN
Teemu Suninen is also joined by a new co-driver this year in the form of fellow Finn Marko Salminen. The pairing contested last year’s Monza Rally Show together and have since completed two test sessions to further perfect their new partnership.

Suninen has contested Rallye Monte-Carlo on two previous occasions, but this will be his first time attacking the event’s legendary stages with the power and performance of a top-specification world rally car.

Previous starts: 2
Best result: 12th (2016)

Teemu Suninen said:
“I’m really excited to start this new season, and the expectations are greater than ever! We’ve completed a lot of test kilometres and I’m feeling really well prepared. Last week Elfyn and I shared a couple of days and we both managed to get a lot of kilometres. We also drove two days at the end of last year, so when you put it all together our preparation has never been better!

“The car feels really nice and really easy to drive – something I think is important in Monte as it’s a rally where the driver makes the biggest difference. Starting the rally with two night stages is always a big challenge and we will need to be alert. It would be nice to start the rally with a good stage time, and that is what we’ll be aiming for.

“We’re using the same notes as last year and I have to say that my preparation with Marko has been really good – everything has been perfect before the start of the season and I hope it stays that way as I tackle this famous rally for the first time with a world rally car!”

PONTUS TIDEMAND OLA FLØENE
Making his debut behind the wheel of a new-generation world rally car, Pontus Tidemand will take the next step in his career at next week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo. The Swede is reunited with experienced Norwegian co-driver Ola Fløene, and the pairing will be looking to learn as much as they can ahead of their home event in Sweden.

Having completed a day’s testing last week, the Scandinavian pairing also spent a number of days in the workshop – meeting their new team and learning as much as they can about the top-specification Fiesta so as to be best prepared for the challenges ahead.

Previous starts: 1
Best result: 11th (2017)

Pontus Tidemand said:
“This is a really exciting time for me and I’m looking forward to making my debut in a new-generation world rally car. Last week we had a pre-event test with a lot of snow and ice and the feeling was really good. But in Monte you never know what the weather is going to do and we’ll still need some time to learn the team and the car.

“The conditions make this one of the most challenging events on the calendar. On dry Tarmac the grip is quite high, but when there’s ice and snow the grip is zero and it looks as though we could experience a proper Monte with all kinds of conditions next week.

“Ola has a lot of experience so it’s great to have him alongside me, and I know the team will give us a lot of guidance and advice throughout the weekend. We spent some days in the workshop this week – getting to know the team and the car – and I think we’re as prepared as we can be. The goal is to get to the finish with as much knowledge and experience as possible.”

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing trio take on the WRC's legendary curtain-raiser

Posted: January 18, 2019 6:42 AM

The 2019 FIA World Rally Championship season kicks off on January 24-27 with one of the most demanding events of the entire year, the famed Rallye Monte-Carlo. The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, with its fast and experienced driver line-up of Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and new signing Kris Meeke, will look to make the strongest possible start to its defence of the manufacturers' title it won in 2018 and its fresh assault on the drivers' and co-drivers' crowns.

Rallye Monte-Carlo is notorious for its difficult and changeable weather conditions, which can vary from dry asphalt to snow and ice – often within a single stage. This makes tyre choice a critical factor throughout the event, with drivers reliant on their ice-note crews to provide them with information on the latest stage conditions.

The rally is based for much of the event in the French town of Gap, which will host the service park and the start on Thursday evening, before the opening two stages are run in darkness to provide a tricky start to the competitive action. Friday is the longest day of the rally, with two loops of three stages south-west of Gap. Saturday has two stages both run twice before a long drive into Monaco ready for Sunday, which takes place over a pair of repeated tests in the nearby mountains and includes the iconic Col de Turini.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“We are feeling very excited to start this new season. We have a change to our driver line-up, with Kris joining the team, and there are some big changes among the other teams as well, so it is going to be very interesting to see what happens in Monte Carlo. Of course, it is a very tricky event to begin the season with, but our drivers have a lot of experience there. This is maybe the most important thing, as my success there came in my final years as a driver. We go there feeling very positive as a team: Ott is now very at home in the car compared to one year ago, while Jari-Matti had a really strong end to last season and Kris has felt immediately comfortable with the team and the car.”

Martin Järveoja and Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“I am feeling much more relaxed heading to Rallye Monte-Carlo this year. Twelve months ago, everything was new for me, but now I am going into the season with the same car and the same people and I believe that we are a really strong team now. All of the knowledge and experience we gained last year will only make us better. Personally, I am hungrier than ever, after having come so close in the championship last year. We know that we just need to be smart, particularly on an event that is as unpredictable as this one. Second place was a great result on the Monte last year and it would be nice if we can go one better, but we are up against some really strong opposition.”

Miikka Anttila and Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“Together with my co-driver Miikka, we are about to start our 13th full season in the WRC. There is still a lot of motivation to fight for rally wins, and maybe the drivers' championship too: this is still the ultimate dream. The second half of last season was really good for us and if we can continue that trend then we should be right up there. We know the car is reliable and fast, so it is up to us drivers to get the most out of it. I have finished on the podium in Monte Carlo in both of the last two years with the Yaris WRC and it would be ideal to keep that run going, but the key is to have a clean weekend and minimise the mistakes.”

Seb Marshall and Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)
“I am really excited to get going with what is a new start for me, with a new team, a new car, and even a new co-driver. What the team was able to achieve last season, particularly in the second half of the year, gives me a lot of confidence in the car that I am going to have underneath me. Driving the car myself, I have been impressed by what it is capable of. I am still learning though, so I am not setting any big targets for Rallye Monte-Carlo. My immediate priority is simply to enjoy driving again, and the Monte is certainly an event I have enjoyed in the past.”

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Round 1 – Rallye Monte-Carlo

Posted: January 18, 2019 6:40 AM

Hyundai Motorsport will be aiming to get its sixth season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) off to a positive start when the championship gets underway at Rallye Monte-Carlo next week.

One of the most iconic and demanding events on the calendar, this year’s Monte will feature a fresh route with up to 40% of the stages remodeled compared to 2018. Yet, the unique challenges of the rally will remain with late evening stages, unpredictable icy and snowy conditions and complex tyre strategies all combining to offer a punishing start to the new season.

Hyundai Motorsport’s crews are well versed in the demands of the classic rally. Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul took the team’s only Monte-Carlo podium in 2016 finishing third, just one place behind Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger-Amland whose second place represents the Norwegians’ best result at the event to date. Hyundai Motorsport’s latest crew needs no introduction to the rigours of Rallye Monte-Carlo: Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena will begin a new chapter in their illustrious WRC career at an event they have won seven times previously.

Game on!

All three crews will have had the opportunity to test the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC ahead of Monte, albeit with differing preparation time. Neuville and Mikkelsen got behind the wheel ahead of the WRC season launch in Birmingham at the beginning of January and this weekend, while Loeb will have a test on Sunday prior to recce. The team has sought to offset the reduced pre-event test time by conducting a thorough seat fitting for the nine-time world champion during a recent visit to its Alzenau factory.

The event begins on Thursday evening with a ceremonial start in Gap acting as a prelude to two night stages, each just over 20km in length. It will be a baptism of fire for all crews as battle commences for an all-new season.

Friday’s itinerary covers 125km of special stages on new routes, before the final two days return to more familiar settings. If crews can successfully negotiate the opening three days, the legendary Col de Turini awaits on the final morning. Huge crowds will gather at the summit to watch the WRC cars as the rally builds to its crescendo with a final Power Stage against the mountainous pass of Col de Braus.

Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
2018 championship runners-up have their sights set on a competitive Monte-Carlo
Previous best result at the event was a third-place finish in 2016

Neuville said: “We are revved up and determined to get the 2019 WRC season off to the best start possible. The tricky, demanding nature of Rallye Monte-Carlo is well documented. The combination of tarmac roads with unpredictable snow and ice conditions makes it a rally like no other. It is an event I enjoy. We’ve built up competitive pace in recent seasons, even if the results have not really been there. I expect – and hope – to fight for the podium, and I will even be looking to go for the victory if at all possible. There will be lots of strategies at play, especially with tyres, and we will need to be absolutely precise with our notes. We will give it our best shot and aim to get a good haul of points to start our 2019 championship campaign.”

Crew Notes: Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Amland (#89 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Mikkelsen took third place in 2015 and second, with Jæger-Amland, in 2016
Norwegian crew is targeting an improved season after a character-building 2018

Mikkelsen said: “Here we go again, starting a brand new championship with two of my favourite events in a row – Monte-Carlo and Sweden. Anders and I have worked hard over the winter to learn from our first full season as a Hyundai Motorsport crew, as we aim to build a consistent and strong assault for 2019. Monte-Carlo is always a special rally, and a very difficult one to begin the year. I have often been quick in this event, having taken two podiums. We were also competitive in 2018, despite the final result, scoring a stage win and Power Stage points. Hopefully, we can get a positive start to the new season against another strong field of WRC entries.”

Crew Notes: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (#19 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Nine-time champions join Hyundai Motorsport for a six-rally program in 2019
Monte-Carlo winners on seven occasions between 2003 and 2013

Loeb said: “Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of our favourites. Daniel, my co-driver, is Monegasque, so it’s his home rally for him, while it is also something of a home event for me as all of the stages are in France. Conditions can affect the road a lot at Monte, whether it’s full tarmac, snow or ice. The most complicated thing is to find the right rhythm and not to fall into any traps: there is every possibility of finding ice plates as the temperature drops overnight. You always have to adapt to the changing and unpredictable conditions. I have always been quite good in these circumstances. This year will be a particularly special one with a new team and a new car. We won’t have had a lot of testing time ahead of the rally, and there are lots of tough, new stages for me, but I am very motivated.”

Team Director Andrea Adamo: “We begin a new season in a refreshed state of mind and looking ahead to what promises to be another exciting, competitive and adrenaline-fuelled championship. The recent season launch in Birmingham revealed the new line-up of WRC cars for 2019 and plenty of ambition from all teams and crews. Monte-Carlo is the perfect place for battle to commence. Our objective and desire is to be in the fight for the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles this year. To do that we have to take each rally as it comes, making sure we get absolutely everything out of ourselves on each kilometre of every stage. There’s no room for complacency or error, so we have to be rigorous, we must be focused and we have to work together as a team to deliver for Hyundai at the highest level of world rallying.”

Rallye Monte-Carlo begins on Thursday, January 24 with a shakedown at Gap, run over a 3.35km route, before the ceremonial start in the centre. Two evening stages will follow, run in darkness with additional light pods affixed to the cars, the 20.76km La Breole-Selonnet and 20.59km Avançon-Notre Dame du Laus tests. It’s game on for the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship!

Entry List

Posted: January 18, 2019 6:34 AM

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