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Monte Carlo (WRC) - 21-24 Jan 21

Posted: January 20, 2021 3:07 PM - 1222 Hits

Round 1 - 2021 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Monte Carlo 2021) Also available at: rally-base results & ewrc-results.com
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: acm.mc/en/edition/rallye-monte-carlo-edition-2021/

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
No Shakedown.
SS1 Thu - 13:08
SS3 Fri - 05:10
SS9 Sat - 05:30
SS12 Sun - 07:30

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Round 1 – Rallye Monte-Carlo

Posted: January 20, 2021 2:36 PM

Hyundai Motorsport is aiming for a strong start to its eighth season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), as it looks to defend its 2020 victory at Rallye Monte-Carlo this week (January 21-24).

With a line-up that boasts experience, versatility and dynamism, the team is aiming to claim a hat-trick of manufacturers’ titles and its first drivers’ crown in 2021.

Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of the most demanding events on the WRC calendar. The 2021 edition features a new-look itinerary for teams to grapple with, as well as a brand-new tyre supplier. Weather conditions are almost certainly set to play a starring role; crews must be prepared to face ice, snow and tarmac at any point during a stage.

Gap will play host to the first three days of the event. There is no Shakedown this year; instead, after the opening ceremony, crews will head straight into action with two stages in the late afternoon on Thursday. Three new stages in the west of Gap make up Friday’s schedule, the longest day of the rally with nearly 127km of competitive running. Saturday will feature three stages split by the final service in Gap, before teams head south to Monaco for the final day. Four stages complete the Rallye Monte-Carlo itinerary on Sunday.

Hyundai Motorsport will field three crews:
Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (#8), Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (#11), and Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (#6).

Neuville famously claimed the team’s debut Monte-Carlo victory in 2020, in which Sordo played a key role, having joined the Belgian’s gravel crew for the event. Tänak enjoyed three consecutive finishes on the podium in 2017-2019.

All three drivers have tested ahead of Rallye Monte-Carlo in order to acclimatise to the conditions and gain experience of the new tyre choices for the event.

Team Principal Andrea Adamo said:
“It is the eve of our eighth season at the pinnacle of rallying and we are ready to do battle once more. Our goal for 2021 is clear: we are here to win our third consecutive manufacturers’ title and to support our crews to achieve their own ambitions. We have all worked hard to ensure the momentum we gathered in the second half of 2020 extends into a new season. Continuing to improve the reliability and performance of the car will be the key to fighting at the front event after event. It will be another intense competition, so we have to be on top form from the start.”

Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (#8 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Estonian crew set to begin second consecutive season with Hyundai Motorsport
Crew retired from Rallye Monte-Carlo 2020 after high-speed crash

Tänak said: “Monte is always a challenge, perhaps the biggest one of the season. It’s the first event of the year and you’re always a bit more anxious, nervous, and unsure of what to expect. The weather is always changeable so it’s a place where you can expect to see everything at the same time, as it was in our first rally of 2020; you need to get a feeling for the year ahead.”

Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Neuville claimed first-ever victory in the Principality in 2020
Wydaeghe will join Neuville in the co-driver’s seat for 2021 outing

Neuville said: “Monte-Carlo is always a tricky event to start the season, mainly due to the conditions we can face. It’s a tarmac event but obviously, during the winter period, we can come across black ice, snow, slush, rain. It’s one of the only events where we have four tyre choices as well. The last two editions were great for the team, missing out on the win by two seconds in 2019 and then scoring our first victory in 2020. It will be my first event with Martijn as my co-driver and we are working hard to get ready although it is set to be a very challenging event for both of us.”

Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Two-time Sardinia winners set for final outing as a crew
Rallye Monte-Carlo marks del Barrio’s last event as co-driver for Sordo

Sordo said: “For me this is one of the most challenging rallies of the year. The conditions can change quickly; in the same stage you can have snow, ice and dry conditions. It is always important to make wise tyre choices, and to have really good information from the gravel and weather crews. There’s a lot of things going on around you that you need to get to work in Monte-Carlo. This is my final rally with Carlos, and we want to go out on a high.”

Weekend at a Glance
Rallye Monte-Carlo kicks off on Thursday with an opening ceremony in Gap followed by two late afternoon stages – Saint-Didier/Corps (20.58km) and Saint-Maurice/Saint-Bonnet (20.78km)

Friday’s action features an all-new challenge, covering almost 127km of competitive distance: two loops of Aspremont ­– La Bâtie-des-Fonts (19.61km) and Chalancon – Gumiane (21.62km) split by a single pass of Montauban-sur-l’Ouveze – Villebois-les-Pins (22.24km)

There are three stages on Saturday’s itinerary: two runs of La Breole/Selonnet (18.31km) and one of Saint-Clement/Freissinieres (20.48km) before teams head south to Monaco The rally will come to a close on Sunday with two loops of Puget-Theniers/La Penne (12.93km) and Briançonnet/Entrevaux, the latter of which will form the 2021 Power Stage.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing targets the top step on classic season opener

Posted: January 20, 2021 2:35 PM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is preparing for the 2021 season to begin with Rallye Monte-Carlo on January 21-24, and has its sights set on victory on the legendary winter event. Since the Toyota Yaris WRC came second in 2017 on its debut in the FIA World Rally Championship, the team has finished with at least one car in the podium positions in Monaco every year. It aims to climb to the top step this time around with its continuing full-season driver line-up, formed of seven-time and reigning champion Sébastien Ogier, last year’s runner-up Elfyn Evans and rising star Kalle Rovanperä.

Ogier is a seven-time winner of Rallye Monte-Carlo, which is based in his hometown of Gap in the French Alps. The oldest rally on the WRC calendar – which this year celebrates its 110th anniversary – is also one of the most challenging, thanks to the changeable conditions which can range from dry asphalt to snow and ice, sometimes within a single stage. This means tyre choice is often a critical element of the rally.

This year, the teams will be using new tyres from Pirelli, which becomes the sole supplier of the WRC’s top categories. In the six weeks since the final round of the 2020 season, the team has tested in France with the four tyre options for Rallye Monte-Carlo in a range of different weather conditions typical of the event.

The rally is set to start on Thursday afternoon with a pair of stages just to the north of Gap. On Friday morning the crews will head west for three new stages, two of which will be repeated after midday service. Saturday morning takes the rally to the east for two stages prior to the final service in Gap, with the La Bréole – Selonnet test to then be run for a second time before the crews make the journey to Monaco. The final day takes place further to the west of the Principality than usual, with a pair of stages to each be run twice.

Quotes:

Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“Building up to Rallye Monte-Carlo this year is a very different feeling for me in this new role; seeing the cars in the workshop and not thinking about driving them but instead making sure that everybody in the team is ready for the first round of the season. The atmosphere in the team is very good. This time last year it was the first rally for all three drivers in the Yaris WRC, and still, Seb and Elfyn were both fighting for the victory. Now they are more familiar with the car, so they should be in a stronger position. As we know, Monte is probably the most demanding event of the year, and there can always be surprises and the weather conditions can play a big role. But I feel that we are well prepared. Moving to a different tyre supplier is usually quite a big change and this has been the focus of the team’s testing for Monte; getting comfortable with the new Pirelli tyres and getting the car setup correctly. There has been quite a lot of snow in the area but we have been able to try out all of the different tyre options in the various different conditions, and this will be valuable information for the rally.”

Sébastien Ogier/ Julien Ingrassia
Sébastien Ogier (Driver car 1)
“Everybody knows that Rallye Monte-Carlo is the rally that I want to win the most. But it’s a rally that you have to face with a lot of humility because it’s always challenging with the conditions and you have to be really clever to win it. This year it will feel different to usual: For me there has always been massive support, but even if they will not be there physically at the side of the road, I’m pretty sure my supporters will cheer from in front of the TV and I will try to make them happy. I’m more prepared for this season having done some rallies in the Yaris WRC, and that gives me more confidence. Still, we will need to adapt to the new tyres, especially on Monte-Carlo when we have a bigger package available than any other event. But I’m looking forward to it because for me it’s an interesting aspect of rallying: To try and make the best tyre strategy and use them as best as you can.”

Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin
Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“It was a strong first season for me with the team in 2020, but of course there was an element of discovery at some points as well. Now, 12 months in, I’m a bit more familiar with my surroundings and that should make things easier to start the year. But it’s always very competitive, so we have to continue to make improvements and to want to be better all the time. There’s a few classics on the calendar that always draw your eye and which you think that it would be cool to win, and Rallye Monte-Carlo is obviously one of those. Normally the stages are very nice and I really enjoy the driving, but of course the conditions can make it quite difficult – especially when it’s dark and there’s snow and ice about and it’s really difficult to judge how much grip you have. In testing with the new Pirelli tyres I had two quite different days in terms of conditions, and that’s been good to explore the various options that we have available on this rally.”


Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen
Kalle Rovanperä (Driver car 69)
“It has been a really short off-season this year; it basically feels like we’re just going to the next event, not like we’re starting a new season. I learned a lot last year but the season was too short and I still haven’t driven so many kilometres in this car. I’m hoping that we can drive much more this year and then the feeling will get better all the time. Rallye Monte-Carlo has always been the trickiest rally on the calendar. I want to try to be better than last year and to push a bit more, but it’s always very easy to make a mistake. Hopefully we can have a clean rally and a good result. It has been interesting to test with the Pirelli tyres in proper Monte conditions: We have had dry conditions as well as snow and ice, and I have had quite a good feeling.”

M-SPORT FORD READY FOR MONTE

Posted: January 20, 2021 2:30 PM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team are ready to take their chance at this week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo – the most unpredictable and yet one of the most rewarding events on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar.

Famously changeable when it comes to conditions as well as results, the opening round of the season demands respect and each crew must expect the unexpected as they traverse the challenging Hautes-Alpes stages.

Looking to prove their worth in the top-flight, Teemu Suninen and Gus Greensmith will take to the wheel of two EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs, while Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux chases success with the Ford Fiesta Rally2 in the WRC’s premier support series – WRC 2.

To best prepare for the challenges ahead, the WRC team were in action in the Ardèche – compiling a comprehensive four-day test and gaining important knowledge with regards the conditions, set-up and Pirelli’s all-new range of WRC tyres which will be used for the first time in competition this week.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“It doesn’t feel that long since we were enjoying the action at ACI Rally Monza, but a lot has happened since then and I’m glad to say that we’ll have three cars ready to rally at this week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo.

“Preparation hasn’t been easy for anyone, and we’ve been working hard with support from the FIA, WRC Promotor and ACM to meet every challenge – and I think everyone is happy to see three M-Sport Fiestas at the season opener.

“Without doubt, this is one of the most unpredictable events on the calendar. The result is as hard to foresee as the conditions, and it’s a rally where a driver can really take a chance to show what they are capable of.

“Gus and Teemu will both be up for doing that, and a trouble-free run could well see them spring a few surprises. Gus has won here in the past, and Teemu has something of a point to prove in Monte with good speed on asphalt.

“And in the WRC 2 category, we’ll be looking to challenge for the win with Adrien. It’s a competitive field, but with Adrien, Renaud and the Ford Fiesta Rally2 I think we have everything we need to push for the victory.”

SUNINEN / MARKKULA

Teemu Suninen will join forces with Mikko Markkula this week as the two Finns reunite to showcase their skills on the opening round of the season. Keen to demonstrate his speed on asphalt as well as his ability to read the road in ever-changing conditions, the young Finn is determined to get 2021 off to a strong start and intent on delivering a strong result at this week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Teemu Suninen said:
“It’s great to be at the start of another season and I want to say a big thanks to the team for their continued trust in me. It was really good to get a couple of days’ testing, and we tried to focus on gaining as much knowledge and experience as possible – both of the conditions and set-up, but also of the Pirelli tyres which we’ll be using for the first time this year.

“Mikko wasn’t able to join me on the test and we’ve not sat together since 2018, but I’m sure it will all come back to us once we get going – and we plan to give it our very best. Anything is possible on an event like Rallye Monte-Carlo, and we plan to make the most of every opportunity and push for the best possible result.”

GREENSMITH / EDMONDSON
Gus Greensmith and Elliott Edmondson have an affinity with Rallye Monte-Carlo, and the British pairing will be hoping that holds them in good stead when they get their first full season in the FIA World Rally Championship underway. Securing victory in the event’s RC2 class back in 2019, the pairing know what it takes to succeed in the Hautes-Alpes and will be looking to demonstrate that same consistency in their performance this week.

Gus Greensmith said:
“There’s nothing quite like Rallye Monte-Carlo, and it will always be a special event for me. It’s where I secured my first victory, and I really enjoy the challenge which is unlike anything else on the calendar. There’s no other rally that gives as much satisfaction behind the wheel, and I can’t wait to get back out there and see what the Monte has to offer us this year!

“But as rewarding as this event is when you get it right, it can also be really unforgiving. Experience counts for a lot, so it was good to get some testing under our belts – getting the mileage and learning as much as we can about the conditions and the new Pirelli tyres. As always, it’s going to be a big challenge – but one that I’m really looking forward to.”

FOURMAUX / JAMOUL
Despite only making his FIA World Rally Championship debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo two years ago, Adrien Fourmaux has continuously impressed at the Monegasque event. Regularly challenging for the top results, the Frenchmen will be keen to see that continue this year as he and Belgian co-driver Renaud Jamoul target WRC 2 victory with their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta Rally2.

Adrien Fourmaux said:
“Every year Rallye Monte-Carlo provides a really big challenge, and it’s great to be starting my season at this legendary event again this year. The conditions are always tricky, and I expect this year to be no different. But it’s those conditions that create some fantastic stories – and I hope that we will be the subject of one of those stories this year!

“We’ve been getting really close to securing a WRC 2 victory with the Ford Fiesta Rally2. We have everything we need to make it happen, and it would be great to achieve it this week – at what will effectively be my home round of the FIA World Rally Championship.”

Rally Guide / Details / Event Website

Posted: December 11, 2020 3:46 PM


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