WRC 2006 - R1. Monte-Carlo *Spoilers*
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  1. #1
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    Default WRC 2006 - R1. Monte-Carlo *Spoilers*

    I think the big Monte rally deserves it's own topic!

    Action packed first day, but for all the wrong reasons.


    - SS1 + SS2 only 11 drivers completed due to blockages by 'tractor trailers' and spectator busses. Other drivers were given provisional times, the slowest being Solberg by 3mins because of poor tyre choice.

    Marcus Grönholm:
    "I spun about three kilometres after the start of the first stage on a right hand corner," explained Gronholm. "It was marked in my pace notes as 'really slippery' but it was really, really, really slippery."


    - SS3 cancelled completely due to the above problem.

    - After SS4
    1. 1 S. LOEB 14:43.9 0.0
    2. 17 F. DUVAL 15:04.7 20.8
    3. 3 M. GRÖNHOLM 15:12.2 7.5
    4. 4 M. HIRVONEN 15:15.8 3.6
    5. 5 P. SOLBERG 15:17.4 1.6
    6. 16 T. GARDEMEISTER 15:19.8 2.4
    7. 7 M. STOHL 15:20.0 0.2
    8. 18 C. ATKINSON 15:21.9 1.9
    9. 6 S. SARRAZIN 15:26.5 4.6
    10. 8 H. SOLBERG 15:29.6 3.1

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    Galli crashed out


    - SS5 Duval sets the fastest time


    - SS6 Loeb crashes at 6km mark and retires; Gronholm leads


    Pos. Num. Name Stage time Penalty Total time Gap ahead
    1. 3 M. GRÖNHOLM 1:09:30.8 0:00 1:09:30.8 0.0
    2. 18 C. ATKINSON 1:10:54.5 0:00 1:10:54.5 1:23.7
    3. 16 T. GARDEMEISTER 1:10:57.9 0:00 1:10:57.9 3.4
    4. 11 G. PANIZZI 1:11:05.4 0:00 1:11:05.4 7.5
    5. 7 M. STOHL 1:11:09.9 0:00 1:11:09.9 4.5
    6. 17 F. DUVAL 1:11:36.3 0:00 1:11:36.3 26.4
    7. 5 P. SOLBERG 1:12:04.9 0:00 1:12:04.9 28.6
    8. 6 S. SARRAZIN 1:12:17.6 0:00 1:12:17.6 12.7
    9. 26 D. SORDO 1:13:28.2 0:00 1:13:28.2 1:10.6
    10. 4 M. HIRVONEN 1:13:29.6 0:00 1:13:29.6 1.4

    Solberg apparently has retired with engine problems.

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    Wow this has come around quickly! When they say tractor trailers they mean semi's - if trucks and buses were blocking the stages you really have to wonder about the organisation.

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    Woah - Atkinson 2nd after day 1? That's amazing.

    And Seb proves his human and crashes out.... Equally amazing! I'll have to get around to a mates place with Fox Sport tonight to watch the day 1 highlights!
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    James Hunt: Well that should put them out then!


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    1075.6 SamR's Avatar
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    Wow, a very interesting first day
    Solberg looks set to retire due to an oil leak which has damaged his engine too severly.
    Loeb's car is only lightly damaged so it looks like he'll restart tomorrow with a 4 minute penalty seeing as he had a 1 min advantage over Grönholm when he went off...
    Good on Chris for holding 2nd place
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    great to see atkinson doing so well, i bet subaru are in that petter & sarrazin are the only nominated for manufacturers points. as for loeb that off appears not that bad a 3 min penalty puts him at 9th

    1. 3 A8 M. Gronholm FIN Ford Focus RS WRC 06 1:09:30.8
    2. 18 A8 C. Atkinson AUS Subaru Impreza WRC 05 1:10:54.5 1:23.7
    3. 16 A8 T. Gardemeister FIN Peugeot 307 WRC 1:10:57.9 3.4 1:27.1
    4. 11 A8 G. Panizzi F Skoda Fabia WRC 1:11:05.4 7.5 1:34.6
    5. 7 A8 M. Stohl A Peugeot 307 WRC 1:11:09.9 4.5 1:39.1
    6. 17 A8 F. Duval B Skoda Fabia WRC 1:11:36.3 26.4 2:05.5
    7. 5 A8 P. Solberg N Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 1:12:04.9 28.6 2:34.1
    8. 6 A8 S. Sarrazin F Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 1:12:17.6 12.7 2:46.8
    9. 26 A8 D. Sordo E Citroen Xsara WRC 1:13:28.2 1:10.6 3:57.4
    10. 4 A8 M. Hirvonen FIN Ford Focus RS WRC 06 1:13:29.6 1.4 3:58.8

    not too bad a position on the start of day 2

    also good to see the privateers up there as well. early days yet

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    Personally I'm not a fan of the 'super rally' rule that allows you to re-enter the rally the next day if you happen to retire.
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    Default Monte Day 2 *Spoilers*

    Monte Carlo Rally leg 2 standings
    Racing series WRC
    Date 2006-01-21

    Pos No. Class Driver Nat Car Time Gap To 1st Penalty
    1. 3 A8 M. Gronholm FIN Ford Focus RS WRC 06 2:36:10.2
    2. 16 A8 T. Gardemeister FIN Peugeot 307 WRC 2:38:16.1 2:05.9 2:05.9
    3. 7 A8 M. Stohl A Peugeot 307 WRC 2:38:19.0 2.9 2:08.8
    4. 1 A8 S. Loeb F Citroen Xsara WRC 2:38:51.8 32.8 2:41.6
    5. 6 A8 S. Sarrazin F Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 2:39:13.6 21.8 3:03.4
    6. 18 A8 C. Atkinson AUS Subaru Impreza WRC 05 2:40:53.0 1:39.4 4:42.8
    7. 26 A8 D. Sordo E Citroen Xsara WRC 2:41:11.8 18.8 5:01.6
    8. 11 A8 G. Panizzi F Skoda Fabia WRC 2:41:30.2 18.4 5:20.0
    9. 4 A8 M. Hirvonen FIN Ford Focus RS WRC 06 2:41:37.5 7.3 5:27.3
    10. 2 A8 X. Pons E Citroen Xsara WRC 2:42:33.1 55.6 6:22.9



    Gronholm struggles but keeps Monte Carlo lead
    Racing series WRC
    Date 2006-01-21

    By Tom Haapanen - Motorsport.com

    Marcus Gronholm is still struggling in the slippery conditions of the Monte Carlo Rally, but the Finn is focused on two things other than stage wins: making it to the finish, and keeping Sebastien Loeb behind him until the end of this, the first event of the 2006 World Rally Championship.

    "It's hard to judge what is a good pace," the Ford Focus RS WRC pilot explained. "I'm looking at Loeb's times and calculating the pace at which I need to drive. I'm not trying to beat his times. I hope I don't make any mistakes tomorrow because in these conditions that is so easy to do."

    Indeed, Gronholm drove at a steady pace all day, setting two second-fastest stage times and two thirds in the five stages -- stage 11 was canceled because of civilian traffic problems. Meanwhile, Loeb was pushing hard, and won each one of the five stages today.

    But Loeb made the critical mistake on Friday's final stage, spinning his Kronos Citroen Xsara off the road and down a hillside. While his crew was able to make repairs overnight, he incurred a five-minute penalty for not finishing the stage, dropping him into eighth, nearly four minutes behind Gronholm.

    The five stage wins moved him easily up the leaderboard, and he gained just over a minute on Gronholm to close to within 2:41 of the lead. But with just one day remaining, the Frenchman would have to make up an average of over 25 seconds per stage to challenge for the lead.

    Gronholm, who has never yet won a WRC event on tarmac, let alone stood on the top step of the podium at Monte Carlo, is frustrated by the tricky conditions brought on by the icy roads.

    "I spun just after the top of Turini," Gronholm recounted the day's events. "The conditions there were terrible, the worst I have ever seen them, and we have to go over there twice more tomorrow so anything can still happen. The Focus has again been really good today but the conditions mean that it's not enjoyable to drive this rally, because on every corner I'm waiting for something to happen."

    But while Loeb is flying at a speed all his own, Gronholm is more than keeping pace with the rest of the field. From a lead of 1:23 on Subaru's Chris Atkinson, he has built the buffer to over two minutes, now over his fellow countryman Toni Gardemeister, driving a 2006-spec Peugeot 307 WRC for Astra Racing.

    Gardemeister claimed second spot as Atkinson's speed faltered on the second day, the Australian giving up over two-and-a-half minutes to Gardemeister. The claim for the third spot on the podium now belongs to Manfred Stohl, in another privateer Peugeot 307 WRC, entered by OMV Peugeot Norway.

    Loeb's performance today moved him up to fourth place, 33 seconds behind Stohl, but he is certain to be challenging for the podium places tomorrow.

    Stephane Sarrazin has his works Subary Impreza WRC 2006 in fifth place, over a minute and a half ahead of Atkinson, who is driving a 2005-spec Impreza.

    More to follow ...


    Source- Motorsport.com

    interesting times, loeb has done well to move up the board after a 5 min penalty for not completing the stage. lets hope atkinson can do better tomorrow, it will be nice to see gronholm win, great driver in a better car

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    btw, i was watching some highlights on fox last night the traffic jams on those monte carlo streets

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    - SS9 Duval crashed

    - SS11 cancelled due to spectators again

    - Galli retired again with gearbox problems


    Don't think Seb will catch Marcus, given that nothing major happens to Marcus. But with having to do the Col de Turini twice on day 3, anything's possible.
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    [22/01/06 - 10:23]

    Loeb on the provisional podium
    Monte-Carlo : SS15 - 31.25 km


    The longest stage of the race, La Bollene Vesubie-Sospel, is usually a decisive part of the Monte Carlo Rally. This challenging timed event will be used twice today after an initial run in SS12 yesterday.

    While Sebastien Loeb wasn't able to beat his own time of 24'03 from yesterday in this stage, he still set the fastest time in SS15, 9”5 better than Toni Gardemeister in second position. Loeb moves up to third place ahead of Manfred Stohl, who lost 30 seconds on the French driver in this tough stage.

    Loeb still has a deficit of 14”5 over Gardemeister in second position. The Finn is pushing hard and won't make it easy for the World Champion.

    After achieving some of his best stage times of the race, Gilles Panizzi hit a problem in this stage. The Fabia driver lost over three minutes, probably because of earlier damage to his front left wheel following a contact on a rock.

    The two Subaru drivers continued at their consistent pace by setting the third and fourth quickest times in SS15, Stephane Sarrazin ahead of Chris Atkinson by just two seconds. The two Impreza drivers finished in front of race leader Marcus Gronholm, fifth in this stage.


    Source- Racing-Live.com

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    Icon14 final monte

    loeb finishes second well done to gronholm & atkinson

    Monte Carlo Rally final results
    Racing series WRC
    Date 2006-01-22

    Pos No. Class Driver Nat Car Time Gap To 1st Penalty
    1. 3 A8 M. Gronholm FIN Ford Focus RS WRC 06 4:11:43.9
    2. 1 A8 S. Loeb F Citroen Xsara WRC 4:12:45.7 1:01.8 1:01.8
    3. 16 A8 T. Gardemeister FIN Peugeot 307 WRC 4:13:07.0 21.3 1:23.1
    4. 7 A8 M. Stohl A Peugeot 307 WRC 4:13:26.2 19.2 1:42.3
    5. 6 A8 S. Sarrazin F Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 4:15:04.1 1:37.9 3:20.2
    6. 18 A8 C. Atkinson AUS Subaru Impreza WRC 05 4:16:46.3 1:42.2 5:02.4
    7. 4 A8 M. Hirvonen FIN Ford Focus RS WRC 06 4:18:03.4 1:17.1 6:19.5
    8. 26 A8 D. Sordo E Citroen Xsara WRC 4:18:59.1 55.7 7:15.2
    9. 2 A8 X. Pons E Citroen Xsara WRC 4:19:26.8 27.7 7:42.9
    10. 11 A8 G. Panizzi F Skoda Fabia WRC 4:21:13.7 1:46.9 9:29.8 0:20


    Drivers' Championship:

    Pos Driver Nat Car Points
    1. Marcus Gronholm FIN Ford Focus RS WRC 06 10
    2. Sebastien Loeb F Citroen Xsara WRC 8
    3. Toni Gardemeister FIN Peugeot 307 WRC 6
    4. Manfred Stohl A Peugeot 307 WRC 5
    5. Stephane Sarrazin F Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 4
    6. Chris Atkinson AUS Subary Impreza WRC 2005 3
    7. Mikko Hirvonen FIN Ford Focus RS WRC 06 2
    8. Daniel Sordo E Citroen Xsara WRC 1

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    Icon10 analysis monte

    Gronholm takes first Monte Carlo victory
    Racing series WRC
    Date 2006-01-22

    By Tom Haapanen - Motorsport.com

    It was a weekend of firsts for Marcus Gronholm: the first drive in the works Ford Focus WRC 2006, the first World Rally Championship win on tarmac, and, most importantly, his first Monte Carlo Rally victory.

    Gronholm may not have been the fastest man on the road -- that honor belonged to WRC champion and defending Monte Carlo winner Sebastien Loeb -- but he was fast enough, and he kept his car on the road when it mattered most.

    "This is the best feeling," the happy Gronholm smiled at the finish. "I had a good lead and didn't need to get involved in a massive fight. It is my first win on asphalt, although it wasn't 'pure' asphalt because there was so much ice and snow. It is fantastic to score so well on the first rally and I'm really looking forward to driving on the snow in Sweden on the next round."

    There has been no love lost between Gronholm and Monte Carlo in the past, and double world champion's best result in the French mountains to date had been a fourth place.

    "I didn't think a victory was possible here before the rally," he admitted. "My dream was a podium, but this is the best feeling. It is a fantastic day for everyone in the team and one that I will always remember,"

    Loeb, who finished second in a Kronos Citroen Xsara WRC, was just over a minute adrift, in spite of winning ten stages to Gronholm's two; the difference was all in Loeb overcooking a corner, spinning off the road and sliding down the hillside on Friday's final stage. The Frenchman was unable to continue, and took instead a five-minute penalty for missing the special.

    "Of course I'm very disappointed to have made the mistake on Friday, especially for the team," Loeb said. "I can only blame myself. On the other hand, I can honestly say that from the inside of the car this rally turned into a thrilling chase, the sort of battle that I really like. It showed us that our Xsara can more than stand up to the opposition, and that my new team is working really well."

    That mistake dropped Loeb to eighth, 3:40 behind Gronholm, and set the scene for the remainder of the weekend. Gronholm, uncomfortable in the icy conditions, drove cautiously and with an eye on the watch, while Loeb was driving with abandon to make up as much time as possible.

    And Gronholm did survive, even with three passes in all -- one each day -- over the treacherous Col de Turini section, where he crashed out in 2005, spinning off the road after hitting snow thrown on the road by spectators.

    "Today was again difficult," he explained. "The first stage was really hard because there was a lot of ice and sometimes the car was skating. There were many tricky corners and so I drove with great care. My right knee hurts because the position of the throttle pedal was not quite right, but that was my only problem this weekend, so that's not too bad!"

    Loeb did all he could, but Gronholm's lead was insurmountable in the end. He did pass every other car, flying into second on the final stage; Toni Gardemeister, driving a privateer Peugeot 307 WRC for Astra, held second place by six seconds entering the final stage, the last of the famous Col de Turini crossings.

    And while Manfred Stohl stole the show on the final stage, beating Loeb by almost 19 seconds, Loeb was easily 27 seconds faster than Gardemeister, clinching the second podium spot. Gardemeister had said that he was willing to take risks to keep second, but this was just too much for him.

    And Gronholm? He was taking no risks on his final encounter with the famed pass, and gave up a minute to Loeb. But with a two-minute gap entering the final stage, and the first Monte Carlo victory at stake, caution was more than prudent for the Finn.

    Gardemeister took third, then, 21 seconds behind Loeb, while Stohl, who stormed through to take the last two stage victories in an OMV-entered Peugeot 307 WRC, was fourth, 19 seconds adrift of Gardemeister.

    After the top four, there was a big gap: Stephane Sarrazin took fifth for Subaru, three minutes and twenty seconds off Gronholm's time, and more than a minute and a half behind Stohl.

    "I'm very pleased that we've finished in the points on the first round of the championship and with a new car," Sarrazin said. "Mechanically we've had no problems at all, but we were caught out by the weather on Friday and that cost us a lot of time. But it's a part of the game -- this time we lost but next time we might win. In performance terms the car is a big step forward already."

    Chris Atkinson, who impressed in a 2005-spec Subaru Impreza WRC on Friday in spite of limited experience on asphalt, but lost much time on Saturday, today kept pace with tarmac specialist Sarrazin -- who was driving a current works Impreza -- and finished in sixth.

    "We're ecstatic, really," Atkinson gushed at the finish. "Coming to our first Monte Carlo, to finish in the top six and to have such a good result all weekend is fantastic. Glenn and I drove exactly according to our pre event plan, we learned a lot and we'll head to Sweden in a very positive frame of mind. The conditions (in Sweden) suit me a bit better than the ones here and I'm looking forward to going back."

    Mikko Hirvonen, in the second Ford Focus, was seventh, followed by Loeb's two Kronos teammates, Daniel Sordo in eighth, the final points-paying position and Xavier Pons in ninth. Sordo had been attacking Hirvonen, and was within 15 seconds of the Finn entering SS18, the final run through Col de Turini, but a hydraulic problem cost him the chance at seventh, and Sordo finished 55 seconds behind Hirvonen.

    "To be at the end of the rally with a second-fastest stage time in our pockets, one championship point, and an intact car is fantastic," Sordo admitted, overcoming the disappointment of the mechanical problem. "Step by step I think I've learnt a lot since Friday and I can't wait to get to Sweden now to learn some more."

    So while the number of "true" factory teams dropped significantly for the 2006 season, the Monte Carlo opener was none the worse for that, with the privately-entered Citroens, Peugeots and Skodas more than competitive -- and the impressive effort from Gronholm, a gravel specialist, gave the Ford team the first trophy of the season, and their first since 2004.



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    Good win for Gronholm, but what an amazing comeback from Loeb. Gronholm's first tarmac win also, finally breaking through after many years of trying.
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    Proof that the 307 was crap... They should have kept on developing the 206...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 206 RC
    Proof that the 307 was crap... They should have kept on developing the 206...
    Have a look at some of Stohl's and Gardermeister's times in privately entered 307s, maybe Marko Martin was right and the Peugeot factory team was going the wrong way in set up.
    The 206 was struggling towards the end and the team was looking to the 307 to restore its fortunes.
    I'm sure if you looked at the comparitive times the 307 would be a lot quicker than the 206, its just that the competition got better.
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    I kind of disagree, the 206 struggled in the final year due to development focusing on the new 307 WRC car.. It still had plenty left in it.

    Just my opinion.
    Last edited by 206 RC; 23rd January 2006 at 11:44 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 206 RC
    I kind of disagree, the 206 struggled in the final year due to development focusing on the new 307 WRC car.. It still had plenty left in it.

    Just my opinion.
    Both arguments have merit but I think what is clear was that both the 206 and 307 were not ideal and forced on the team due to marketing requirements.
    The 306 was the ideal size, big enough for the complex 4wd drivetrain and small enough to be easy to drive.
    The success of the Xsara I think proves this point, it will be intersting to see how the 307 based C4 goes.
    Already the people who have driven it have had similar opinions to those who drove the 307 regarding seating position etc.
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    1075.6 SamR's Avatar
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    Congrats to Grönholm for finally winning a tarmac rally (even though there was a lot of snow and ice on the roads). A good start to the year for him.
    Sebastien Loeb seems to be in the same devastating form as last year apart from that little incident on the first day
    And an excellent result for Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by 206 RC
    Proof that the 307 was crap... They should have kept on developing the 206...
    My gut feeling agrees, but with the change back to passive diffs I don't think we can make good objective comparisons. And Loeb was still leading before his 'off'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 206 RC
    I kind of disagree, the 206 struggled in the final year due to development focusing on the new 307 WRC car.. It still had plenty left in it.

    Just my opinion.

    I 'd have to agree, the 206 with more development could still mix an match with the leaders to date
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    I am confident that Peugeot will win at least one WRC race this year and Xsara with Loeb on the wheel will win the championship.

    Also if Renault driver (I think it is Fisico's turn) will win F1 championship I will be totally satisfied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pate
    I am confident that Peugeot will win at least one WRC race this year and Xsara with Loeb on the wheel will win the championship.

    Also if Renault driver (I think it is Fisico's turn) will win F1 championship I will be totally satisfied.

    The only sure bet there would be Loeb. Given his speed at the Monte, and the Super Rally rules, I'd be very surprised if we saw a 307 get up and take a win. Stranger things have happened though...

    Unfortunately Fisi is just not up to it. I always gave him the benefit of the doubt but he was nothing short of disappointing last year. Now that Alonso is leaving for McLaren in 2007, I wonder if Renault are going to put their eggs in the Fisi basket and back him up more than Fonso.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLAYLIFE
    Personally I'm not a fan of the 'super rally' rule that allows you to re-enter the rally the next day if you happen to retire.
    Does the super rally rule penalise drivers more if they miss/don't complete more than one stage. That is, 5 min penalty for not completing 1 stage, 10min penalty for not completing 2 stages etc.? If so, then Loeb is very lucky he only crashed on the last stage of the first day.

    I think the super rally rule is a good idea, it's better for spectating, but I don't think the drivers should be able to earn as many points as those who have managed to stay on the road for the whole rally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLAYLIFE
    Unfortunately Fisi is just not up to it. I always gave him the benefit of the doubt but he was nothing short of disappointing last year. Now that Alonso is leaving for McLaren in 2007, I wonder if Renault are going to put their eggs in the Fisi basket and back him up more than Fonso.
    At the risk of derailing this thread, I think Renault will back Alonso to the hilt this year in an attempt to go 'back-to-back' and really push the Renault F1 brand to the fore. They have a better chance of winning this year's world championships by putting their eggs in the Alonso basket rather than the Fisichella one.

    Possible 2007 line-ups at Renault IMO include :

    a) Montoya/Webber
    b) Montoya/Heikki Kovalainen
    c) Kovalainen/Webber

    I'd probably go for b) or c), as Flavio has shown that he enjoys bringing his own younger drivers through the ranks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamR
    Does the super rally rule penalise drivers more if they miss/don't complete more than one stage. That is, 5 min penalty for not completing 1 stage, 10min penalty for not completing 2 stages etc.? If so, then Loeb is very lucky he only crashed on the last stage of the first day.

    I think the super rally rule is a good idea, it's better for spectating, but I don't think the drivers should be able to earn as many points as those who have managed to stay on the road for the whole rally.

    5 mins penalty per stage, so in that respect Loeb was lucky. They also are limited to 2hrs 45mins to repair the car in time for the 2nd leg.
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