Published on January 24th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Rallye Monte Carlo 2012 Sees Citroën DS3 WRC-Michelin In Top Spot
Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena survived the short final stage of the 2012 Rallye Monte Carlo to collect their sixth win on the winter classic. The Citroën DS3 WRC-Michelin pair picked up maximum championship points (victory + Power Stage) to defend their world title with a flying start. Three different cars finished on the all-Michelin podium, with Mini’s Dani Sordo and new Ford recruit Petter Solberg claiming second and third places respectively. In truth the result was never really in doubt from the moment the man expected to be Loeb’s main challenger for the title, Jari-Matti Latvala, rolled his Ford out of first place late on the opening day.
The Finn had made a brilliant call on tyres in changeable weather conditions on Wednesday to steal a 30-second advantage over Loeb, but his crash handed the Citroen man a comfortable lead and the eight-time WRC champion did not look back. Loeb won Sunday morning’s power stage to claim the maximum 28 points available. And with new team mate Mikko Hirvonen still adjusting to the DS3 WRC after making the switch from Ford, it added up to the ideal result for him.
Mini, themselves making a return to Monte Carlo under new owners BMW, claimed their third podium in seven events since re-entering the sport last year thanks to Sordo. Kris Meeke, the Northern Irish driver who was controversially dropped in the build-up for Pierre Campana, must have been watching on and wondering how he would have fared given such a competitive machine. Campana finished seventh. The championship now moves on to Sweden but with serious question marks hanging over the future of the WRC.