Rallye Monte-Carlo: Day two
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing just off provisional podium in first full day of competition
The Toyota Yaris WRC faced its first full day of action, which was the longest competitive day of the Rallye Monte-Carlo with six stages totalling 160.80 kilometres. Jari-Matti Latvala finishes the day just one place off the provisional podium, in fourth overall. After setting an extremely encouraging pace in the morning, Juho Hänninen slid off the road on the final stage before midday service. He will rejoin the rally tomorrow.
The Toyota drivers both showed the pace to be in the top five stage times today, with Jari-Matti confirming the potential by finishing in fourth place overall tonight despite a couple of small problems that meant he was not running with the ideal set-up. Conditions were icy and snowy from start to finish, with the drivers using just studded tyres throughout both loops of stages to find grip on the slippery and changeable asphalt surfaces.
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “It’s been a very positive day for both drivers. Maybe not perfect: Jari-Matti had a small problem that was distracting him a bit and we also had an issue in the morning that cost time during first service, which meant that we could not put Jari-Matti onto the ideal set-up. Juho was very fast today but unlucky to slide off: I know from my time as a driver how easily this can happen here. Now we have a good point of reference to the other teams, and I think it is encouraging.”
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
”This was a very important day for us and we made the most of it. We had a couple of minor problems but we are still here at the end of the day and I am very happy with our progress. Conditions were extremely difficult, so just to stay on the road was a good achievement. But the car is improving all the time.”
Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)
”In a downhill braking area on SS5 we just made a small mistake and lost the car on the ice, which put the car into a tree and damaged the suspension. Luckily the damage is not big and we will be able to start again tomorrow: thank you to our mechanics for a great job. That will be another very tricky day, so it will be important to make the right tyre choice in particular.”
End of day two:
1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2h05m24.6s
2 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +45.1s
3 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +45.4s
4 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miika Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m09.7s
5 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2m57.8s
6 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen DS3 WRC) +3m04.1s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Skoda Fabia R5) +5m50.8s
8 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +8m12.1s
9 Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (Skoda Fabia R5) +8m22.4s
10 Jan Kopecky/Pavel Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +8m38.2s
23 Juho Hänninen/Kaj Lindström (Toyota Yaris WRC) +28m18.1s
On Rallye Monte-Carlo, drivers are assisted by safety crews, who pass through the stages before them and make corrections to the pace notes to reflect the latest stage conditions. These are normally experienced competitors. Toni Gardemeister drives the safety notes car for Jari-Matti, while Jouni Ampuja drives the safety notes car for Juho. Both have achieved a lot of success as drivers in Finland and internationally.
Tomorrow’s action starts in Gap and ends in Monte Carlo, covering 121.39 kilometres of stages and 449.33 kilometres on the road. There are two loops of two stages, separated by a service halt in Gap, before the drivers head down to Monte Carlo following another service in Gap. On the way to the Principality, they take in a final 25.49-kilometre stage, before checking into parc ferme from 21:11 ahead of the final day.
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