Sunday | 25 Jan 2015

SS13: Meeke wins Sunday's opener

Clear asphalt greeted competitors for the opening stage of Sunday’s final leg at Rallye Monte-Carlo and Kris Meeke made the most of that to set fastest time from Citroen team-mate Sébastien Loeb.

Stage info: SS13

Col St Jean – St Laurent 1, 10.16km
After starting on southern-facing roads with little risk of ice, fast and wide roads climb the Col de Braus before a steep descent towards the finish at St Laurent, via a sequence of hairpin bends.

The Northern Ireland driver was quickest by 1.1sec, but admitted conditions weren’t as easy as they looked. “It was a very tricky mix of dry and damp. Spectators are pushing snow on the road, and they’re doing it on the blind corners,” he said.

Dani Sordo was third in his Hyundai i20, 0.7sec behind Loeb. The Spaniard echoed Meeke’s comments, but there was little for any of the leading drivers to be too concerned about.

Leader Sébastien Ogier was fifth, the Frenchman opting for a cautious tyre choice on his Volkswagen Polo R. He had three super soft and two soft covers, which he admitted was not the fastest option.

“I went for the safe tyre choice. It wasn’t optimum for this stage but worked well for the target we have. The important thing is to try to win the rally, not today’s sages,” he said.

Ogier was 4.6sec faster than team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala and holds a 47.4sec advantage. Andreas Mikkelsen, seventh fastest, remains third.

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