WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
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Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
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Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
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Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Wed 24 Jan 2024

Tänak tops Rallye Monte-Carlo shakedown on Hyundai return

Ott Tänak made the best possible start to his second stint at Hyundai Motorsport after he won Rallye Monte-Carlo’s shakedown stage on Wednesday afternoon.

Tänak is back with the Alzenau-based squad having spent last season with M-Sport Ford, but he wasted no time in showing his comfort aboard the i20 N Rally1 – a car he steered to three FIA World Rally Championship victories in 2022.

 

The Estonian posted the benchmark time for the 3.28km Route de la Garde warm-up just outside the host town of Gap in the French Alps. In dry conditions, he outpaced his closest challenger and Toyota rival Elfyn Evans by a single tenth of a second.

 

“It’s still quite exciting to start the new year with a new car again,” said Tänak, who is contesting his 150th WRC round this week. “It’s always a difficult challenge [on this rally]. Even if I've been here before, it's still a little bit unknown. We will try to maximise.”


Thierry Neuville trailed his team-mate by 0.8sec to make it two Hyundais inside the top three, with eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier just a tenth further back. Ogier, who drives a Toyota GR Yaris, is chasing down his 10th Rallye Monte-Carlo victory.

 

Takamoto Katsuta completed the top five ahead of reigning WRC2 champion Andreas Mikkelsen, back in the top-flight with Hyundai for the first time since 2019.

 

M-Sport Ford Puma duo Grégoire Munster and Adrien Fourmaux placed seventh and eighth respectively while WRC2 stars Nikolay Gryazin and Yohan Rossel rounded out the top 10 in a pair of identical Citroën C3 Rally2s.