Ott Tänak in third place after WRC Monte Carlo Rally day one

Ott Tänak (M-Sport Ford).
Ott Tänak (M-Sport Ford). Source: M-Sport Media

Ott Tänak lies in third place in his first race with his new World Rally Championship (WRC) team, M-Sport Ford, after day one of the Monte Carlo Rally.

Tänak and co-driver and fellow Estonian Martin Järveoja will be looking to put poor form at the last two season-opening WRC races in the principality, being held for the 91st time.

After placing six after two morning shakedown runs Thursday, the Estonians went on to place third in the Ford Puma after stages one and two proper, held in the late evening, despite reporting technical problems after the morning sessions, which led to an inability to select fifth gear.

Both were won by eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier (Toyota), followed by his teammate, Welshman Elfyn Evans, and Tänak, 15.4 seconds behind the leader.

Just 0.1 seconds behind Tänak lies his former teammate, Thierry Neuville (Belgium) in the Hyundai i20, and a second-and-a-half behind him, is reigning WRC champion Kalle Rovanperä (Finland, Toyota).

2023 WRC Rally Monte Carlo standings after day one. Source: WRC

"On the way to the first stage, we noticed that we had problems with the car's electrical system. This affected gear shifts during the stages. It was a bit frustrating, but luckily we passed both stages cleanly. The second was a bit more difficult, as fans were making fires on the side of the track and visibility was impaired as a result of the smoke," Tänak said at the end of Thursday.

Friday sees six more stages totaling 105.34km in length and starting at 10.09 a.m. Estonian time. Readers with Estonian can catch ERR Sport's live-blog of the event here.

Saturday and Sunday follow, as per standard WRC events. The complete itinerary with completed stages in italics and with stage winner in brackets, is below.

Monte Carlo Rally itinerary (times in UTC+2, 24-hour clock):

Thursday, January 19

Shakedown run Sainte-Agnès / Peille (2.29 km) - 10.31 (Rovanperä)

SS1 La Bollène-Vésubie / Col de Turini 1 (15.12 km) - 21.05 (Ogier)
SS2 La Cabanette / Col de Castillon (24.90 km) - 22.03 (Ogier)

Friday, January 20

SS3 Roure / Roubion / Beuil 1 (18.33 km) - 10.09
SS4 Puget-Théniers / Saint-Antonin 1 (19.79 km) - 11.22
SS5 Briançonnet / Entrevaux 1 (14.55 km) - 12.25

Maintenance break - 13.40

SS6 Roure / Roubion / Beuil 2 (18.33 km) - 15.23
SS7 Puget-Théniers / Saint-Antonin 2 (19.79 km) - 16.36
SS8 Briançonnet / Entrevaux 2 (14.55 km) - 17.39

Saturday, January 21

SS9 Le Fugeret / Thorame-Haute 1 (16.80 km) - 9.24
SS10 Malijai / Puimichel 1 (17.31 km) - 11.05
SS11 Ubraye / Entrevaux 1 (21.78 km) - 13.17

Maintenance break - 14.36

SS12 Le Fugeret / Thorame-Haute 2 (16.80 km) - 15.31
SS13 Malijai / Puimichel 2 (17.31 km) - 17.05
SS14 Ubraye / Entrevaux 2 (21.78 km) - 19.23

Sunday, January 22

SS15 Lucéram / Lantosque 1 (18.82 km) - 08.57
SS16 La Bollène-Vésubie / Col de Turini 2 (15.12 km) - 10.05
SS17 Lucéram / Lantosque 2 (18.82 km) - 11.40
SS18/Punktikatse La Bollène-Vésubie / Col de Turini 3 (15.12 km) - 13.18


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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