With the Monte Carlo starts Thursday, the world cup rally of 2018. The Monte Carlo is one of the most unpredictable and hardest rallies on the calendar. The past few days continued to snow so that the trail there bone dry beaches. Sébastien Ogier won the past four editions, and is again the strong favourite for the stage win. In addition to Thierry Neuville are still three other Belgians at the start.
The Monte Carlo is just like last year, spread over four days. On Thursday, there are two night driving including the 36,69 kilometre opening stage from Sisteron. This klassementsrit is for the first time in the other direction driven. On Friday, there are six stages driven on Saturday and five on Sunday, four including the powerstage. In the last klassementsrit, there may be extra points for the world CHAMPIONSHIPS to be earned. In total, the participants 388,59 km klassementsritten for the wheels pushed including the double passage of the Col de Turini, in the past known and notorious for the night of the long knives. The base is a Gap. For the last day, moved everyone and everything to Monaco.
The Monte Carlo was, for the first time in 1911 organized and is the oldest rally of the championship. This year will be the 86th edition organized.
There are this year, four Belgians at the start. Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe) is part of the official Hyundai team. Peter Chun start along with Kevin Abbring in a private Ford Fiesta R5. The RACB National Team brings a Peugeot in the Belgian colours at the start for Guillaume de Mevius and Louis Louka. And then there’s the duo of Amaury Molle and Renaud Herman (Peugeot 208).
The Monte Carlo rally starts on Thursday evening and ends Sunday afternoon.
Neuville wants to learn from earlier mistakes
Many eyes are at the start of the rallyseizoen focused on triple runner up at the worlds Thierry Neuville. With 85 wk-rally’s on the counter, 27 podiums and six victories included the Belgian is now up to the absolute world top. His big goal this year is to become world champion. The hunt for the title begins in Monte Carlo.
Last season was Thierry Neuville furore in the Monte Carlo. The Belgian started in a very convincing way in the competition, won six klassementsritten and was 51 seconds ahead when he during the thirteenth stage was a mistake. The Belgian showed himself to be surprised by gravel on the asphalt so he has something to widely went into a turn and his wheel a small borduurtje of less than two inches high.
“In the run-up to this contest we have two days of testing. I am eager for the rally to start,” said Thierry Neuville. “The Monte Carlo is a special contest. The slightest mistake can be punished. I made that last year during the penultimate day. It was a very frustrating experience. But that is what the Monte Carlo also makes this place so special. At the start of the season, this is really a challenge. In the past I have in this competition is quite a bit of bad luck known. The goal is to make all lessons so that we this year the match with a good result, can shut down.”
Chun is aiming for podium in WRC2
Remarkable name on the inschrijvingslijst of the world cup rally is eight times Belgian champion rally Peter Chun. Since last year, is Chun the hard corijder of Kevin Abbring (Ford Fiesta R5). The duo won last year’s rally of Ypres, making Chun, the first rider ever on the hall of fame was that the race as a rider and as corijder won. Chun wants, Abbring on the podium in WRC2 guides.
“That’s the idea, and with the qualities Kevin has, that must be possible”, says Peter Chun from Gap. “We start the Monte Carlo and the rally Sweden. Those two games can I soon of my bucketlist delete. The aim is for the WRC2 win although I realize that the competition is particularly heavy. The top three need to the options include. For me, this is pure fun but that’s not to say that my best will not do. After those two contests, we make a balance sheet. If Kevin manages to world cup to score points, he can you may have additional sponsors, or a manufacturer to convince in our program to invest. If that support would continue to do so, we may still be a third world CHAMPIONSHIP rally together. In addition, the rally of Ypres, also on our program. The Monte Carlo is an outsider in the championship. Today are the tests dry with the exception of Sisteron. That ride is Thursday night driving and freezing rain expected. But it can quickly change, eh. If it would start snowing and we get a total different game.”
The Mevius is celebrating its debut
Guillaume de Mevius (Peugeot 208 T16) makes Thursday together with corijder Louis Louka his debut in the world rally championship. The Belgian this year is the spearhead of Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg and combines competitions in the netherlands and abroad. De Mevius is part of the RACB National Team.
To participate in the Monte Carlo has something magical”, says Guillaume de Mevius. “The ambition is to gain experience and the game to drive. Sometimes there is a rather frivolous handled but this match without problems to a good end is really a challenge though. With six matches in the CHAMPIONSHIP and three in the world cup, this can be a wonderful season. In addition to the Monte Carlo, I start in the rally of Corsica and Germany. I start with an official Peugeot in the colours of the RACB National Team and then the comparison with Thierry Neuville is never far away. In the beginning of his career, he has the official Peugeot in the Belgian tricolour furore. I hope ever to following in his footsteps to join but put myself any pressure on. Thierry helps me where he can. So are we past Sunday together to go to dinner and he gave me lots of tips. Fantastic that he does so. The Monte Carlo is a very difficult rally. That you will only notice really when you klassementsritten explores.”
Guillaume de Mevius in the footsteps of father Grégoire in 1991 and 1992, became world champion in Group N, the standard.
Four brands are sounding titelfavorieten
World rally championship 2018 start Thursday, as is the tradition with the Monte Carlo. Just like last year has the world cup this year thirteen matches. The rally of Poland was replaced by the rally of Turkey that his return on the calendar. With Citroen, Ford, Hyundai, and Toyota, there are four constructors provided that each of the one or more candidate world champions in their ranks count.
Ford last year won everything there is to win fell. For the first time since 2007, the constructeurstitel to Ford. Sébastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta WRC) won for the fifth year in a row the title. Remarkable statistics is that the Ogier in 2017, only two matches won (Monte Carlo and Portugal) and that he spread over the season only 23 klassementsritten managed to win. Ford extends Elfyn Evans one place after Ott Tänak to Toyota moved.
At Hyundai, there is, of course, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC). The Belgian was last season’s fastest driver with the fastest car. Neuville won four games and 48 klassementsritten. No-one did better. The Belgian may in his own ranks, competition to expect from Andreas Mikkelsen who last year by Skoda and Citroen eventually when Hyundai came out of it. The Norwegian is particularly to be feared on clay, but has less experience on tarmac. In the past, he won three world CHAMPIONSHIP rallies.
Citroën is the brand that is most in the spotlight. The French brand experienced last year a rotseizoen with a few highs and many lows. Kris Meeke won the rally of Argentina and Spain, but drove in the middle of the season, many Citroëns in the mash. The boisterous Brit has a little enviable statistic. Thirty times he got the end of the match. Sébastien Loeb will drive this year’s three world CHAMPIONSHIP rally, Craig Breen will drive ten. Citroën saw his Belgian team manager Yves Matton directly to the FIA, the international autosportfederatie, where he is the rally director. Matton was replaced by Pierre Budar.
Toyota brings a mix of experience and youth at the start. Jari-Matti Latvala with 182 world CHAMPIONSHIP races, the most experienced rider of the suit. Last year, he made his debut strong with his Toyota but several technical problems occurred that he to the end in hopes of reclaiming the world title. The Est Ott Tänak traded her Ford in for a Toyota. Last season he won his first world CHAMPIONSHIP rally in Sardinia. The Est will occur this year finally out of the shadow of Sébastien Ogier and wants to full his chance for the world title.