Last year Sebastien Ogier took victory on the first stage of the year, which was also the first win for Volkswagen. It looked impressive, but at that point we still did not fully realize what Volkswagen and Ogier are capable of. Last year was spectacular in many aspects, but if the start of 2013 Monte can signal the way the rest of the year will shape up, then what can we say about prospects for this year? Because it only took three stages (or one stage, right Thierry, *nudge* *nudge*) to show how fantastic it is to have a strong lineup of drivers and teams – add a bit of weather to it, sprinkle it with a bit of a wrong tyre choice and voila – Rallye Monte Carlo.
Robert Kubica made his mark by winning two opening stages, while Neuville also made his mark on some solid object on the very first stage of the event. Unfortunately for Thierry and his team there are no second chances in Monte Carlo. Luckily for us, weather did not stay all nice and dry and merciful, so on stage three Monte exchanged smile for a snarl – slippery, snowy, slushy surface pushed certain tyre choices to the top. And lo and behold, Bryan Bouffier, who is no stranger to Rallye Monte Carlo, is in the lead, with Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo completing the provisional podium. Whoa!