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Round 1, Rallye Monte Carlo Rally: Titans in a new era

Sebastien Loeb reached his 80th career victory and gave Ford its first success with the Ford Puma Rally1 after Sebastien Ogier (Toyota GR Yaris) had a puncture in the penultimate stage of the Rallye Monte Carlo.

The Monte Carlo Rally was exciting until the end, with the two great Sebastien having a huge fight and the senior one, smiling at the finishing ramp.
Thanks to the 80th victory of his career, Loeb became the oldest driver to achieve such a thing, at the age of 47 years, 10 months and 28 days, breaking the record of Bjorn Waldegard (46 years, 5 months and 4 days) from Rally Safari 1990, with a Toyota Celica GT-4.
The battle of the two French for victory left no interest for the rest, who, after all, fought on their own. The reason is that Loeb and Ogier will not follow a full program in the series, so in essence, they are not claiming the World Drivers' Championship this year. Thus, for Craig Breen-Paul Nagle (Ford Puma Rally1), finishing third in their first participation with M-Sport, is only positive. Kalle Rovanpera-Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) finished 4th, but thanks to their faster time in the Wolf Power Stage, they are higher than Breen-Nagle in the standings.
Gus Greensmith-Jonas Andersson (Ford Puma Rally1) finished fifth overall. This was the 25-year-old driver's best performance so far. Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) was the only crew of the 2019 and 2020 Manufacturers Champion who finished, but not without problems.
With several Rally1 crews retired or losing a lot of time, some Rally2 cars managed to finish within the top ten.
Last year's champions Andreas Mikkelsen-Torstein Eriksen (Toksport, Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo) finished 7th, and 1st among WRC 2.
In the newly formed WRC 3, for Rally3 cars, the winners among the 3 participants were the Finns Sami Pajari-Enni Malkonen (Ford Fiesta Rally3).

Results - Standings
https://www.wrc.com/en/results-standings/rally-results/rally-monte-carlo/results

Rallye Monte Carlo 01
Rallye Monte Carlo 02
Rallye Monte Carlo 03

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