Gilbert and Riedemann top Monte JWRC entry
Record entry for JWRC’s opening round
The 25-year-old Frenchman has only tackled the WRC’s icy opener once before but it didn’t prevent him from edging ahead of Terry Folb by 6.6s at the end of the leg.
Gilbert said: “We were very careful in SS1, it was extremely difficult. But it was important to keep safe to get the car back to service. What is possible now I’m not sure - we’ll see on Friday!”
Folb too was relieved to get his Citroen DS3 R3T back to Gap. “Not easy at all - and I’m surprised to be here in this position,” he said. “It took time to adjust the rhythm in stage to suit the conditions.”
Simone Tempestini was expected to be one of the pacesetters in the French Maritime Alps but he struggled in the icy conditions and had to settle for third place, 21.2s off Gilbert’s pace.
Ole Christian Veiby is 42.2sec further back in fourth after a clean run on the two opening tests, while Christian Riedemann recovered from a spin on SS2 to round out the top five.