Saturday morning at the Monte Carlo Rally was a bit of a non-starter, as so many fans packed Stage 9 that the stage had to be scrapped. North American motorsport fans and organizers need to think about that for a moment. There were so many spectators that they had to cancel a stage. Rally is THAT popular in Europe! It boggles my mind that here in North America, rally barely draws enough fans to keep a single food truck busy for a few hours. We are a boring, passion-less society that doesn’t get how much fun hanging out in the woods, drinking wine by a campfire and watching rally cars can be!
As for the event itself, this year’s running of The Monte started at night and competitors were greeted with a challenging mix of ice, snow and clear tarmac, which caught out some important teams.
Seven time World Champion, who has also won the Monte seven times, Sebastian Loeb returned to competition for a one off drive for the Citroen team. Not surprisingly, Loeb ripped off the fastest time on the first stage, putting him atop the leaderboard, ahead of the VW of Sebastian Ogier. It wasn’t long however before the ice contributed to ending Loeb’s event, soon to be followed by team mate Chris Meeke.
Check out the highlights of the first ten stages.
Source: WRC on YouTube