Sunday | 24 Jan 2021

WRC3: Rossel clinches maiden victory in Monte

Yohan Rossel overcame Wolf Power Stage drama to seal his first ever WRC3 victory on Sunday at Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Rossel had been locked into a ding-dong duel with fellow Citroën C3 driver Yoann Bonato for much of the event, with the lead toing and froing between the French pair throughout the opening three days. 

However, Bonato’s charge was dealt a heavy blow during the Saint-Clément - Freissinières speed test on Saturday morning. A flat tyre cost more than two minutes and handed his rival a commanding lead ahead of the final leg. 

Rossel looked set to cruise through Sunday’s stages and lift the trophy, however, as is often the case in rallying, there was last-minute drama during the final stage when he too damaged a tyre at the rear of his C3. 

Thankfully, he managed to hold onto his lead and eventually finished 1min 04.2sec in front of Bonato. 

Monte-Carlo expert Bonato was unable to catch back the time lost on Saturday

"I think we will be okay, but I don't know what happened! That was so difficult - I was clean in my driving but it came from nowhere 8km after the start,” the winner explained. 

Nicolas Ciamin suffered similar tyre troubles on Saturday afternoon but ended the rally on a high with three stage wins on Sunday. The Frenchman finished 1min 18.9sec behind Bonato at the tail of an all-Citroën top three. 

Ford Fiesta Rally2 pilot Hermann Neubauer rounded out his Monte-Carlo debut a hefty 7min 14.9sec back from the podium in fourth, followed by Skoda man Cédric De Cecco 2min 47sec behind.    

Belgian star Davy Vanneste completed the top six in another C3. At close of play, he trailed the leaders by 18min 56.8sec. 

 

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