Sebastien Loeb seals seventh Rallye Monte-Carlo win

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 22, 2013

Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena have won the Rallye Monte-Carlo for the seventh time. At the opening round this year, two Citroën DS3 WRCs finished on the podium. Meanwhile, Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio secured third-place overall. Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen took fourth place, making the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team the leader of the Manufacturers’ World Rally Championship standings.

At Valence on Friday, the crews went off to complete the final two stages of the day while the Citroën Racing team were starting to disassemble the service park structures. After the five articulated lorries covered a distance of about 393 kilometres, they arrived in the Principality in midnight. When dawn came, the DS3 WRCs were ready to be placed where the pits are established for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The change of the rally base to the far south of France did not lead to any milder weather conditions. Rain had been falling non-stop in Monaco, becoming snow at above 800 metres. These circumstances meant that the crews were forced to reuse studded Michelin Pilot Alpine snow tires. The first loop was composed of two runs up the Col du Turini (Moulinet - La Bollène Vésubie), mixed together with a run past the Col de Loda (Lantosque – Luceram).

When the SS14 ended, Sébastien Loeb faced very difficult conditions. He said that the road was “undriveable” and so he had to create a line through a thick layer of slush and so they were “aquaplaning” the entire time. The car can’t go any faster than 30kph on the straight sections or else, the car will go off. Loeb was compelled to create the line for his rivals, a move that pleased Bryan Bouffier, who brought his DS3 WRC to the top.

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