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Loeb claims 2022 Monte-Carlo Rally win as new WRC era begins

Sebastian Loeb shows class is permanent with superb showing in Monte-Carlo

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Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb triumphed at the opening round of the 2022 WRC Championship in Monte Carlo.

With the championship finally incorporating hybrid technology into its cars, the series moved into a new era after bidding adieu to the World Rally Car regulations. Despite the new dawn, it was a familiar face who triumphed with Loeb pipping his fellow Frenchman Sebastian Ogier to the win.

Slow start, strong finish

Driving a Ford Puma, Loeb endured a slow start to his rally, losing the opening four stages to reigning champion Ogier. The Toyota Yaris driver looked unstoppable for large parts of the rally, and looked deadset to claim an unprecendented ninth win at the Monte Carlo Rally, after crushing Loeb by 16.1 seconds during the final stage on Saturday.

Ogier was easing his way to the win on Sunday, until a puncture on Stage 16 changed the outcome of the rally. Loeb would proceed to take full advantage of Ogier’s misfortune, bringing his car home to claim his 80th win in the WRC.

Sébastien Loeb (FRA) and Isabelle Galmiche (FRA) of team M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM are seen performing during the World Rally Championship Monte-Carlo in Monte-Carlo, Monaco on 21 January

The win also marked the first time Loeb won with his co-driver Isabelle Galmiche, who became the first female to win a WRC event since Fabrizia Pons at the Rally Monte Carlo in 1997.

“I didn’t expect so much when I came here,” Loeb stated. “It was a great fight, Ogier was really fast and I struggled a bit yesterday and even this morning.”

WRC Monte-Carlo Rally Results – Top 10

POSDRIVERCO-DRIVERTEAM / CARTIME
1S. LOEBI. GALMICHEFord Puma Rally13:00:32.8
2S. OGIERB. VEILLASToyota GR Yaris Rally1+10.5
3C. BREENP. NAGLEFord Puma Rally1+1:39.8
4K. ROVANPERAJ. HALTTUNENToyota GR Yaris Rally1+2:16.2
5G. GREENSMITHJ. ANDERSSONFord Puma Rally1+6:33.4
6T. NEUVILLEM. WYDAEGHEHyundai  i20 N Rally1+7:42.6
7A. MIKKELSENT. ERIKSENSkoda Fabia Evo+11:33.8
8T. KATSUTAA. JOHNSTONToyota GR Yaris Rally1+12:24.7
9E. CAISP. TESINSKYFord Fiesta MkII+12:29.2
10N. GRYAZINK. ALEKSANDROVSkoda Fabia Evo+13:41.3

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