The first round of Open RBR-LT WRC 2019 ended and we have Rallye Monte-Carlo results. 79 entrants started the "Monte" challenge and quite good amount (54) of them finished the rally. Drivers had 15 stages this year which was divided in 3 legs. All the corners and sections was tricky this year, so we have some unexpected performances.
Juan Marzoa was one of the most balanced drivers of the rally. And this is how the Spanish guy conquered the Monte-Carlo hills without any drama. Except the first day adventures, when Juan lost about 1 minute while trying to get out of the ditch. But after that he drove very fast and other two legs his driving was very smart and fast enough in the same way to take that 1st place. "Increbible result for me after losing a minute in the first stage, very happy, nice rally and fight with Tomek, sorry for Rene, great start of championship. Thanks to organizers!" - Juan words after the last stage.
Despite driving not so powerful vehicle, Tomek Wach from Poland showed extraordinary driving skill all the weekend. His Škoda Fabia R5 was in 2nd place from the SS9 till the rally finish and even in the last day Tomek pushed very hard and won the Power Stage. The gap from Juan was about 50 seconds all the time. "Quite calm in the last day and after crash on the first stage of the rally it's a really good recovery. (Smiles) Looking forward for the next rallies, I have a few things to improve in my driving and in setup. Very good pace Juan, thank you all for the fight, it's a nice start of the championship. (Smiles)" - Tomek spoke after finish.
Third place was real mystery before last day. Despite wrong tire choice in second day and 2 minutes away from leader, Rene Ritter and Mateusz Przyszlakowski still had hopes for higher positions. But the last day was tragic for them, Rene retired in SS12 and Mateusz in the next one. So 3rd place was still hold by, one more crazy R5 car driver, Jyrki Niemela who had Arnas Kerbelys on his tale. But Jyrki drove very concentrated and left in his 3rd position as he was from SS9. Paulo Tempera drove great in last day and jumped with his Citroën C3 WRC from 8th to 4th place by beating Arnas Kerbelys in 5th and Ivanov Sergey in 6th place.
As you could have guessed WRC 2 classification has been won by Tomek Wach without competition. Jyrki Niemela (Ford Fiesta R5) lost 1 min. 27,88 sec. to Pole whilst Sergey Ivanov (Hyunday i20 R5) lost a minute more to Tomek and finished in 3rd place. WRC 3 category also had very clear leader, Oscar Estévez drove his Renault Clio R3T as no one else. Portuguese driver finished 8th in overall classification and 3rd in Power Stage. The nearest opponent for Oscar finished almost 3 minutes behind. It was Artur Hazuka with Honda Civic Type R R3 and just 13,46 sec. slower Maciej Zawisza in 3rd place. These two Poles had an amazing fight from first day.
54 crews in the finish, just 3 WRC cars in Top 10 and first 11 cars managed to be in same 10 seconds on SS11. Here is some numbers about our first event. This shows not only that Rallye Monte-Carlo was very challenging and competition between drivers is very high but it also shows that we are ahead of same championship in front of us. We are happy to see happy competitors after first event, one more time congratulations to winners and all finishers of this tough rally and see You all in Rally Sweden!