You want classic Monte? Here is classic Monte!
Seriously, really, honestly, try hard to save some money and get yourself on the next plane, train, bus, hike to 2016 Monte Carlo Rally, because atmosphere and character of that event can only partially be described by words and even pictures and videos. You have to see it and feel it and then the dramatic awesomeness of this unique event will fully get under your skin. Of course, it’s perfectly fine if you just stay at home and enjoy your WRC from the comfort of your warm house, but if possible, do make plans for at least one visit to this spectacular event. Today we saw another classic day of Monte Carlo Rally. It was so perfect that I suspect it was all arranged in advance, you know, for more drama and suspense. Because one does not simply cram all this excitement into one day of WRC and claim it’s legit and genuine. Except, in Monte’s case, it is.
Today we saw just how smug and/or clever Sebastien Ogier can be. At the end of day 1 it looked like Sebastien Loeb might be too fast for Ogier, at least to those who failed to grasp the bigger picture concerning road positions, but today Ogier played a little trick, or at least he said he did. As one of the early starters, Ogier decided to take a few elaborate cuts in some corners just to throw some snow on the road for the guys behind him. He did not try to deny it, quite the opposite, he said he wanted to turn his starting position into his advantage. And boy did it work, he cut Loeb’s lead to just a few seconds. Now, it’s impossible to say if Ogier really did what he said he did, because I don’t imagine anyone would be ballsy enough to venture too deep into the unknown in snow covered corners, but even if he didn’t the story itself was very entertaining and just put more oil to the fire.
Even though Loeb lost most of his advantage on that particular stage, it didn’t take him long to bounce back temporarily. We really had a fierce battle on our hands before Loeb encountered problems, made a mistake and dropped down the order on the final stage of the day. Huge shame, but Monte rarely picks its victims, they’re all the same in the eyes of the Great Roulette.
While this was going on, Robert Kubica took three (3) stage wins and not all of them on dry, smooth and wide asphalt. But then, because this was one of those Monte days, he had two punctures and one fairly powerful hit, costing him additional minutes and positions. But he is still there, he is still fighting.
At the moment it’s hard to say whether Loeb will super rally tomorrow. Same goes for Kris Meeke who also had an issue and dropped out of the event today. Again Sebastien Ogier is alone at the top, his closest rivals two and a half days behind him. What is he doing wrong to ruin every WRC event like this, I don’t know. Can anybody make him stop doing that? At the moment I don’t think anyone is able to.