Robe will be the oldest WRC winner after the Monte Carlo drama


France’s Sebastien Loeb won the Monte Carlo Rally at the start of the season on Sunday and became the oldest driver to win the World Championship round at the age of 47.

After retiring from full-time competition in 2012, the nine-time World Champion driving for M-Sport Ford in his first rally since 2020 is after the second half drama of rival Sebastien Ogier. , Won a record eight career Monte Carlo victory.

Eight-time world champion Compatriot Ogier, who has won eight times in Monte Carlo and is currently fighting part-time with Toyota, suffered a flat tire on the left front tire of his car on the penultimate stage, leading nearly 30 minutes. Did.

Loeb maintained his advantage on the final stage, winning the first rally in the new hybrid era of sports in 10.5 seconds, and Ogier penalized a 10 second penalty for the jump start.

“I’m really happy. I didn’t expect much when I came here, but it was a great fight,” said Robe, who had fought with his great fellow Ogier from the beginning.

“Ojie was really fast and had a little trouble yesterday and this morning.

Ireland’s Craig Breen finished third in his M-Sport debut.

Loeb’s new co-driver, Isabel Garmish, has become the first woman on the podium of the World Rally Championship since Fabrizia Pons of Italy teamed up with Piero Liatti, who won the Monte Carlo in 1997.

This is his 80th victory at the Loeb World Championships and the first since he was in Citro├źn in 2018 in Spain.

The French also finished second in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia this month.

Toyota’s Carrero Vampera earned five bonus points to win the final power stage ahead of teammates Elfyn Evans and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville.

Loeb got two bonus points in the fourth and Ogier got one in the fifth.

The next round of the Championship will be held in Sweden from February 24-27.

Alec Baldwin

Reuters

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