Monte Carlo Rally 2012 - Day 0ne

Sensationally, Ford team leader Jari-Matti Latvala crashed his Fiesta RS WRC out of the 2012 WRC's season opener on SS4, leaving the provisional lead to Sébastien Loeb's Citroën/Michelin who tops the order after Day 1. Dani Sordo is second overall in his Mini/Michelin, 1m4.2s behind the Frenchman. The Spaniard was only a second slower than Loeb on SS1, but a mistake saw him drop time on the following test. This evening, he is a little more than a minute adrift of his former team-mate, and only one second clear of Ford/Michelin's new recruit Petter Solberg.

Five-time Monte winners Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena are consequently familiar figures at the top of the leaderboard after today's action which took crews to the southern Ardèche Mountains. There was no snow, but long portions of ice made SS2 particularly tricky and forced most Michelin drivers to fit studded Alpin WRCs.

One of the day's biggest surprises was produced by Sébastien Ogier who is fourth overall in his Volkswagen Motorsport-entered Skoda Fabia S2000. The Frenchman is leading WRC drivers Novikov's Ford/Michelin and Hirvonen's Citroën/Michelin. Popular French veteran pilote François Delecour is seventh in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC after posting the second-best time on SS4!

18th January, 2012