2007 Monte Carlo Rally

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The 2007 Monte Carlo Rally (formally known as the Template:Lang) was a rallying autosports race held over four days between Template:Nowrap and Template:Nowrap, and operated out of Template:Lang, France. It was the first race of the 2007 World Rally Championship (WRC) season. Contested over fifteen stages at a length of Template:Convert, Sébastien Loeb won the race for the Citroën Total World Rally Team. Dani Sordo finished second in the other Citröen works car, with Marcus Grönholm finishing third in a Ford.

Loeb, driving an all new Citroën C4 WRC car which had been in development throughout 2006, took control of the race from the outset, winning the two stages on the first day and four more stages over the following three days. His teammate Sordo kept the pressure on, winning three stages, but on Stage 6, Loeb extended his lead from 6.6 seconds to nearly 24 seconds, and from thereon became unattainable. Each stage on the first two Legs were won by either Loeb or Sordo, and it wasn't until Saturday afternoon on the second run of the day's stages, that other drivers could effectively challenge them. The last two days of the race consisted of a duel between Mikko Hirvonen, who drove a factory 2006 model Ford Focus RS WRC, and Chris Atkinson in a factory Subaru Impreza WRC 2006. After Hirvonen completed Stage 2 in fourth place, Atkinson took the position on Stage 3 and held onto it throughout Friday and into Saturday morning's stages. On Stage 12 on Saturday afternoon, Hirvonen retook fourth, Atkinson regained it on Stage 13 but then lost it to Hirvonen again following Stage 14. Atkinson won the final stage on Sunday morning, and finished the race back in fourth position.

Controversially, the 2007 Monte Carlo Rally was no longer based in Monaco and localities nearby, where it had been held in recent years. The event only visited Monte Carlo with its final special stage, a short run on part of the Circuit de Monaco and the rest of the time was spent in and around Valence hundreds of kilometres north of Monaco in the Template:Lang region. Many of the locations had not been visited since the 1990s, such as the Template:Lang and Template:Lang, and only one top level driver had competitively driven on the roads before. The 2007 event also marked the return of the nighttime stages.

Loeb's win was his fourth at Monte Carlo and twenty-ninth in WRC. It was the sixth time that he had achieved a podium position there, which brought his WRC podium finishes to forty-eight. He earned ten points in the World Rally Championship for Drivers. Sordo was two points behind him, while Grönholm was in third position with six points. With Atkinson and Hirvonen in fourth and fifth place, Petter Solberg, Toni Gardemeister and Jan Kopecký were the other points finishers. In the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, Citroën Total World Rally Team earned the maximum eighteen points for their 1–2 finish, BP Ford World Rally Team placed second, with ten points, with the Subaru World Rally Team placing third with eight points.

Report

Background

The 2007 Monte Carlo Rally was the first round of the 2007 World Rally Championship (WRC) season after taking a six-week break since the last race of the 2006 season in Great Britain.<ref name="Pre-event">Template:Cite press</ref> It was held over four days from Template:Nowrap to Template:Nowrap. With pressure from the president of Template:Lang and being beset with criticism for running a chaotic route in the 2006 Monte Carlo Rally,<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /> Template:Lang (ACM), the rally organisers, chose to move 2007's race away from Monte Carlo and the roads around Template:Lang and other departments within the Template:Lang region.<ref name="Yearbook 50" /> Instead, the rally HQ was set up in Template:Lang,<ref name="Pirelli 44-45">Holmes (2007); pp. 44–45.</ref> almost Template:Convert away from Monte Carlo, with most stages being held in Template:Lang.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> While some stages were brand new to the rally, some places, such as Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, and the Template:LangTemplate:Lang route had played host to Monte Carlo Rally stages in the 1990s and earlier. Only Manfred Stohl, driving for OMV-Kronos Citroën World Rally Team, was familiar with these roads, as he had competed on them in the late 1990s.<ref name="Yearbook 50">Bourret, Joubin (2007); p. 50.</ref>

Although the 25,000 spectators seemed pleased that the rally had returned to the region, the drivers, team bosses and Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA; WRC's governing body) were less enthusiastic.<ref name="Yearbook 51">Bourret, Joubin (2007); p. 51.</ref> Over a total distance of Template:Convert, the fifteen stages totalled Template:Convert, which was shorter than the FIA's regulatory minimum of Template:Convert for Special Stages. The drivers hoped that with the rally taking place on higher altitudes, wintery conditions and burle (a freezing wind blowing from the north) would produce ice and snow on the ground, making for a more exciting event; however, except for some rain on Thursday evening it never came to fruition and the prevailing weather was clear and dry.<ref name="Yearbook 51" /><ref name="Pirelli 45">Holmes (2007); p. 45</ref> Sébastien Loeb was unhappy with the weekend's weather forecast. Following his reconnaissance run, he said, "With snow everywhere and walls on both sides of the road, like in the old days, some of these stages would have been brilliant. But because it's dry, in some places that makes it less interesting because than the roads further south with all their corners." The service park in Valence was also much smaller than what had been used in Monaco, so there were no Production World Rally Championship or Junior Rally Championship categories, and fewer entries of competitors.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Pirelli 46">Holmes (2007); p. 46.</ref> It was also badly located and poorly run,<ref name="Yearbook 51" /> and WRC's commercial director David Richards said that the service area was "like a car boot sale".<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" />

After being absent from the WRC for the 2006 season to spend thirteen months concentrating on preparing their new Template:Nowrap vehicle, the Citroën Total World Rally Team returned in 2007 ready to début it in the Monte Carlo Rally. The Citroën Xsara WRC had dominated the championship in recent years, and despite its age it was still incredibly reliable and was only replaced because the Xsara model was no longer in production.<ref name="Holmes 2007; p. 157">Holmes (2007); p. 157</ref> The C4's mechanical components, such as the engine, transmission, differentials and suspension were either very similar to, or came from, the Xsara,<ref name="Yearbook 28">Bourret, Joubin (2007); p. 28.</ref> but the wheelbase and chassis were longer by Template:Convert and Template:Convert, respectively, which meant that under WRC rules the C4 could be widened to Template:Convert.<ref name="Holmes 2007; p. 157"/> It was also higher than the Xsara, and the weight distribution had been fine-tuned, including raising and moving back the front seats (which had the negative effect of reducing the drivers' visibility), and attaching the wing mirrors to the midpoint along the front doors.<ref name="Yearbook 28" /> The C4's test drivers reported that the car handled more stably.<ref name="Holmes 2007; p. 157"/>

Citroën was confident the C4 would be successful yet concerned as to whether it would beat the Template:Nowrap,<ref name="Rallycourse 68">Evans (2007); p. 68.</ref> which had won the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers title in 2006 for the BP-Ford World Rally Team. The Focus, in addition had undergone its own developments during the winter break.<ref name="Yearbook 28" /> The tarmac testing of the C4 showed it to be faster than the outgoing Xsara,<ref name="Yearbook 28" /> but Loeb knew that that performance might not show itself in the race. "The car has been good in testing. But what about the rally?" he asked. "I don't know."<ref name="Rallycourse 68" /> Marcus Grönholm, the Ford team's number 1 driver, was wary, however. "It's got thousands of k's on the clock. It was running when the Focus WRC 06 was still on the board."<ref name="Yearbook 28" /> Meanwhile, the Subaru World Rally Team were waiting for the Template:Nowrap to be ready for the 2007 Rally Mexico in March.<ref name="Pre-event" /> The team knew that the 2006 version, which had performed poorly the previous season, would be no match for the Focus or C4. Added to the fact that the cars were equipped with unfamiliar Template:Nowrap tyres after Pirelli decided not to supply any teams in 2007,<ref name="Yearbook 50"/> and they were hoping that Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson could just earn some points from the race.<ref name="Pre-event" /><ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" />

Forty-nine crews registered to compete in the rally, Of the top-tier drivers entered, Jean-Marie Cuoq was the only WRC rookie, and Chris Atkinson, Henning Solberg, and Matthew Wilson had driven at Monte Carlo only once before, all in 2006. The starting order for Leg 1 was "Priority 1" (P1) and P2 WRC drivers in the order of the final classification of the 2006 season, followed by all other drivers as decided by the ACM. Loeb, the previous season's champion, set off first, followed by Grönholm, then Mikko Hirvonen. Loeb and Grönholm were the favourites to win; Loeb had won the Monte Carlo three times in a row between 2003 and 2005, and Grönholm had won in 2006. Nevertheless, there were worries that Loeb would not be physically fit enough to win. Four months earlier he had broken his left shoulder in a mountain-biking accident, and there was a chance he might not even compete in the first part of the season.<ref name="Pirelli 44" /> His physiotherapists and consultants told him that because of the operations he had had on his arm, he should definitely have sat out the Monte Carlo Rally. Loeb admitted that he was "really stressed" before the start, and wondered whether his arm would be okay. "It has been okay in testing but what about the long stages?" he asked. His answer: "I don't know."<ref name="Rallycourse 68" />

Race

Following a ten-year absence of nighttime-run stages,<ref name="Pirelli 44">Holmes (2007); p. 44.</ref> the first two Special Stages of the event were held on Thursday night.<ref name="Itinerary">Template:Cite web</ref> They were the first night stages scheduled in the rally since 1997.<ref name="Pirelli 44" /> Throughout the day it had rained, and although it had stopped before the race began, the roads were still very wet and slippery.<ref name="Pre-event" /><ref name="Yearbook 48" /> In discussing the day's weather, Grönholm said that he expected the stages that night to be difficult, and added, "I hope this time we can take the right tyres, we were always a little bit on the wrong side [last year] – it’s not easy, but I hope we will manage to get it right this time."<ref name="Pre-event" /> Earlier in the day, the crews had driven a shakedown stage in Mauves; however, due to a large number of fans and spectators along the route the shakedown was stopped early,<ref name="Pre-event" /> and some crews including Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena were forced to carry out last-minute testing and necessary changes to their cars on the main roads back to Valence.<ref name="Yearbook 48">Bourret, Joubin (2007); p. 48.</ref> Though forty-nine crews registered in the rally, only forty-seven actually competed. Privateers François Duval driving a Template:Nowrap, and Angelo Villa in a Template:Nowrap failed to start the event.<ref name="Yearbook 52-53" />

File:Loeb-rmc2007.jpeg
The Citroën C4 WRC, driven by Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, made its début during the Monte Carlo Rally. It was Loeb's first rally since breaking his arm four months prior.

The first stage of the rally started at Template:Nowrap on Thursday evening. The Template:Convert winding route led the crews between Template:Lang and Template:Lang. Before taking to the tarmac, Chris Atkinson, in a Template:Nowrap for the Template:Nowrap, admitted to never driving a tarmac stage at night before, but said it would be interesting to see how everybody performed. His teammate Petter Solberg spoke of the challenges facing him: "[In the dark] everything gets a little bit more narrow and you always tend to be careful with how you turn in and keep the speed up in the corners, but obviously you have to listen to the pacenotes, that is absolutely crucial thing, 100%." Loeb, who was familiar with driving on nighttime stages in the French Rally Championship, said, "In the dark you have to drive like you can when you have only two passes on the recce, and then you also start with the fastest stage. I think there can be some big moments tonight."<ref name="Pre-event" /> Loeb and Elena took to the road first in their C4, and despite the limited visibility from both his ride position and the unlit roads, he set a pace time of Template:Nowrap. His teammate Dani Sordo and co-driver Marc Marti were able to keep up the pace, maxing out at Template:Convert at one point along the route, and finished in Template:Nowrap for second place. Taking third place on the stage were the Ford crew of Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen, who finished after Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> On Template:Nowrap, a Template:Convert run from Template:Lang to Template:Lang, Loeb held on to the lead, completing it in Template:Nowrap. Grönholm proved to be faster than Sordo on this stage, finishing with a time of Template:Nowrap, 1.1s faster than Sordo.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> At the end of Leg 1 and Template:Convert, any worries about how well the new C4s would perform had been forgotten. They had beaten all the competition by a wide margin.<ref name="Yearbook 48" /> Loeb was almost Template:Nowrap ahead of his teammate, while Grönholm was Template:Nowrap adrift; and Petter Solberg, over Template:Nowrap behind the lead.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73">Evans (2007); pp. 72–73.</ref><ref name="Yearbook 52-53">Bourret, Joubin (2007); pp. 52–53.</ref>

There were six stages in Template:Nowrap on Friday, totalling Template:Convert. Template:Nowrap was the first of these, starting at Template:Nowrap in Template:Lang. The route was Template:Convert long and finished in Template:Lang. The previous leg's provisional classification determined the starting order for Leg 2, whereby the Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap started in reverse order, followed by the remaining drivers in order of classification. Henning Solberg and Cato Menkelud, driving a 2006-spec Template:Nowrap for the Template:Nowrap were the first crew to take to the still-damp roads, and they set a time of Template:Nowrap. Their teammates, Matthew Wilson and Michael Orr, completed the leg Template:Nowrap quicker, at Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Stage 3">Template:Cite web</ref> With no snow and ice on the roads, Sordo, who proved to be very quick on the tarmac surfaces last season,<ref name="Pre-event" /> was fastest on Template:Nowrap. He set a time of Template:Nowrap, a wide margin ahead of Loeb's and Grönholm's second- and third-placed times of Template:Nowrap and Template:Nowrap, respectively. Loeb was said to be "visibly shaken" from losing the stage to his less-experienced teammate.<ref name="Rallycourse 68" /> "I lost Template:Nowrap, my tyres were too hard," he said. "At the start they went cold and I wasn't in a good rhythm. Before we reached some dry parts I wasn't confident and I didn't want to take any big risks this morning." Most drivers had problems with their tyre selection on Template:Nowrap, including Petter Solberg and Hirvonen. Petter was still trying to get used to the new BF Goodriches his car was outfitted with, but he found them too hard and said he could not find any feeling or grip with them. Hirvonen, however, felt his tyre compound was too soft, and was unimpressed with his time. Hirvonen completed the stage ninth, in Template:Nowrap, but Petter's time of Template:Nowrap was even worse, putting him in 12th position.<ref name="Stage 3" /> Petter's Subaru teammate Atkinson had no problems with his tyres, though, and he finished fourth with a time of Template:Nowrap. The Mitsubishi Lancer WRC crew of Xavier Pons and Xavier Amigo had other troubles during this stage. The transmission failed and they had to retire from the rally. Their teammates Toni Gardemeister and Jakke Honkanen set a good time on the stage when they finished in fifth place, as did OMV-Kronos's Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor in sixth.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" />

At the end of Template:Nowrap, the podium positions were unchanged, but the time difference between Loeb and Sordo had decreased to seven seconds, although the gap between first place and fourth was over a minute.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> Petter Solberg had dropped out of contention for points, in ninth place overall, eighth being taken by Jan Kopecký in a privately entered Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Stage 3" /> Before Template:Nowrap got underway, the crews had a chance to change their tyres to a set with a more suitable compound. A new WRC rule for 2007 allowed for Remote Service Zones to be set up away from the main Service Park at Rally HQ. For 15 minutes the cars could be refuelled, re-tyred, and have any necessary maintenance carried out, as long as the parts and tools to do so (except fuel and tyres) were already in the vehicle. For Grönholm this was a major relief. On the previous stage his car had developed an issue with the hydraulic flappy-paddle gearchanges on his steering wheel,<ref name="Yearbook 49">Bourret, Joubin (2007); p. 49.</ref> which meant he had had to resort to shifting gears manually. The technicians were unsure why or how it had occurred and were hoping that their repairs would last until the car got back to Valence. Loeb won an uneventful Template:Nowrap, but only by one-tenth of a second ahead of Sordo, and on Template:Nowrap Sordo was quicker than Loeb,<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> after Loeb stalled on the start-line and was unable to make up the lost seconds. At the midday break, Loeb was lamenting his lead over Sordo. "Now it's a big battle between the two C4s. The other cars for the moment are behind, so it's good news for the team. It would be easier if Dani were bit further behind but I have to deal wit that," he said. "I'll try to keep position this afternoon, but it's not easy. Dani is really fast. I only have a six-second lead." Grönholm was also complaining. " The only good thing here is to win this rally, but to drive here; I don't like it."

File:Gardemeister 2007.jpg
Toni Gardemeister and Jakke Honkanen finished the rally in 7th place driving a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 for MMSP Ltd, earning him 2 points in the World Rally Championship for Drivers.

Template:Nowrap was a rerun of the Template:Lang – Template:Lang stage from the morning. The roads had dried out by the afternoon, but that did not stop some crews from having accidents along the route. Stohl spun out as he went through a corner, and crashed the front of his car into the stone wall of a house. He continued on, but the front bumper was damaged and hanging loose. "We lost the front brakes completely," Stohl explained. "Absolutely no brakes. I was lucky to finish because I was nearly off sometimes." Despite his difficulties, he managed to finish the stage in Template:Nowrap which put him in Template:Nowrap for the stage, and Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Stage 6">Template:Cite web</ref> The dry roads meant that all the drivers were able to complete the stage faster than they had been in the morning.<ref name="Stage 3" /><ref name="Stage 6" /> At just Template:Convert Loeb was already much faster than his time during Template:Nowrap, but on a narrow stretch of the route towards the Template:Lang he did not brake into a corner at the right time and skidded and collided with a fence.<ref name="Yearbook 49" /> He was able to carry on driving, but co-driver Elena's door and sill were damaged. Despite the accident, he won the stage, and increased the overall gap between himself and Sordo from Template:Nowrap to nearly Template:Nowrap. A repeat run of Template:Nowrap closed the day. Sordo won Template:Nowrap and Loeb took Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> But by the end of the Leg and Template:Convert of driving, Loeb's arm and shoulder were in great pain and his osteopath worked through the night to try to address the problems.<ref name="Yearbook 48" />

Template:Nowrap began early Saturday morning. Following Friday's stages, Loeb was Template:Nowrap ahead of Sordo, and Template:Nowrap in front of Grönholm. Template:Nowrap was the first of the day, a Template:Convert route between Template:Lang and Template:Lang held in darkness. Loeb, Sordo, and Grönholm once again finished first, second and third.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> Atkinson suffered a setback when he crashed his car and stalled it. It cost him a few seconds and he finished the stage ninth, behind Hirvonen, Jean-Marie Cuoq, Gardemeister and Kopecký, but he retained his fourth place standing in the event's classifications.<ref name="Stage 9">Template:Cite web</ref> The surprise result of Stage 10 was Atkinson's. He broke Loeb's and Sordo's run and was the first fastest non-Citroën driver of the rally, and set a time of Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" />

Henning Solberg, meanwhile, went off the road and into a ditch as he entered a one of the corners on the stage, and his brother Petter had a similar problem in the same corner, but his quick reactions were able to control the car so he just drove into the scrub and got back on track. Henning finished in seventeenth place,<ref name="Stage 10">Template:Cite web</ref> and Petter finished joint-fifth with Cuoq on Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> Loeb ran his slowest time on this stage after he reduced speed and his tyres went cold. "I was a bit faster than Dani [Sordo] on the start of the stage, and then I saw my splits [times between checkpoints] and then I tried to slow down," he explained. "We had hard tyres and when you slow down the tyres [cool down] and then you lose the grip more and more, and at the end it was really tricky and I had cold tyres, so I just tried to slow down. The end [of the stage] was really tricky so I didn't want to take any risks." Template:Nowrap was won by Hirvonen with a time of Template:Nowrap. Loeb was 1.2s slower and finished second. Atkinson lost all the time he made up in Template:Nowrap by finishing in eighth place, Template:Nowrap slower than Hirvonen. This reduced the gap between the two in the overall classifications to just Template:Nowrap. Sordo, meanwhile, had his worst stage and finished in Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Stage 11">Template:Cite web</ref>

File:2007 Monte Carlo Rally SS15 map.svg
Special Stage 15 was the only stage of the Monte Carlo Rally to be held in Monte Carlo. It used the lower part of the Circuit de Monaco, normally reserved for the Monaco Grand Prix.

After the midday service, the next three stages were reruns of the morning's. Hirvonen won Template:Nowrap and Atkinson had another slow run, which resulted in Hirvonen taking fourth place in the provisional classification by four-tenths of a second.<ref name="Stage 12">Template:Cite web</ref> On Template:Nowrap, Atkinson retook his fourth-placed position after winning the stage with a time of Template:Nowrap, and beating Hirvonen by Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> "Considering how ordinary I drove in the first one, I had to pull my finger out!" said Atkinson. He regained his fourth place position just Template:Nowrap ahead of Hirvonen. Loeb was slow again, 6.7 seconds slower than his teammate, Sordo, which cut the time between them to Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Stage 13">Template:Cite web</ref> "No problem, the car is going very well," said Loeb. "One stage more to go and hopefully its okay."

Stage 14 was the last in the mountains of Ardeche, before travelling to Monte Carlo for the Super Special Stage. For most drivers it was going to be the last time to gain higher positions in the classifications. Loeb, although slow again, extended his lead in the standings to Template:Nowrap, by finishing in fourth position with a time of Template:Nowrap.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> Sordo also had another bad stage. He finished the stage ninth-fastest after Template:Nowrap on the road.<ref name="Stage 14">Template:Cite web</ref> For Hirvonen, it was the last good chance to retake fourth position from Atkinson, which he did when he won the stage by setting the pace time of Template:Nowrap. Atkinson ran Template:Nowrap slower and finished second. It was also Jari-Matti Latvala's last chance to earn a points position. Kopecký had been in eighth position and set to score one point since the middle of the second Leg, but Latvala was just Template:Nowrap behind him going into this stage.<ref name="Stage 13" /> But Latvala pushed too hard and when he drove over some loose gravel he lost control and slid the car into the end of a stone wall. The impact caused damage to the car's roll cage which forced him to retire from the rally and end his attempt to earn any points.

The final stage of the rally took place on Sunday morning. After conducting the entire race in France the organisers only paid lip service to the principality by holding a Super Special Stage there.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /> It involved two laps of part of the Circuit de Monaco for a total distance of Template:Convert, with two cars on the road at the same time but starting at two different points along the track so that they did not interfere with each other. Because the Service Park was in Valence, repairs, adjustments, refuelling and tyre changes were carried out on Saturday night ahead of the drive down to the coast. The decision about which tyres to fit on the cars was taken out of the teams' hands. ACM ordered that all the cars would drive on the snow tyres that the teams had been allocated, but had not been used because of the dry weather, a decision that was described as "absurd"<ref name="Pirelli 45" /> because the cars ended up drifting through the corners. Loeb's, Sordo's and Grönholm's lead times so far ahead of anyone else's, so the interest in Stage 15 was on Hirvonen and Atkinson. Only eight-tenths of a second made the difference between a fourth place position and five points, and fifth-placed position and four points. Hirvonen, who was in fourth place, completed the stage in Template:Nowrap, and admitted, "[I made] a few small mistakes, and that can be it. Nothing more I can do. We'll see how Chris drives and hope for the best.". Atkinson drove opposite Grönholm on the stage, with Hirvonen watching from the sidelines. To beat Hirvonen, he had to complete the stage in Template:Nowrap. He was one-tenth of a second quicker than that, which won him the stage and fourth place in the rally.<ref name="Stage 15">Template:Cite web</ref>

Post-race

Loeb was delighted with his win at Monte Carlo, saying, "It's a victory in Monte Carlo so that's a great moment. I like to start the season like this, with ten points. That's really important for me, the feeling is good. The car is really, really fast and my arm is much better, so everything is perfect for the moment." Guy Fréquelin, the Team Principal at Citroën Total was also pleased with Leob's and Sordo's results. He said afterwards, Template:Quote

The last time a car had finished in first and second-place in its début rally was 20 years ago in the 1987 Monte Carlo Rally, when Miki Biasion and Juha Kankkunen came first and second in all-new Lancia Delta HF 4WDs. The Delta HF 4×4 also won two-thirds of all the stages of that 1987 rally, just like the C4 did this time around. Lancia also won both the Group A and Group N categories in the race, while Citroën won the 4-wheel drive WRC category and came first in the 2-wheel drive Super 1600 category.<ref name="Pirelli 45" />

Template:Quote box

Grönholm was disappointed with his race, admitting that he thought he might be able to beat Sordo, if not Loeb. But after having gearbox and tyre problems on Template:Nowrap, he settled into third place and stayed in that position to the rally's conclusion. "We got it wrong on the tyre choice, which we had to have approved by the FIA early in the week," he explained. "We thought it would rain. Harder tyres would have made life easier for us."<ref name="Yearbook 49" /> BP-Ford was also unhappy. Christian Loriaux, the team's Technical Director said, "Having Marcus finish behind Sordo is disappointing. Being behind Loeb is easier to understand, because I didn't expect the C4 to be any slower than the Xsara, and that car had a performance edge over us last year."<ref name="Yearbook 50" /> Petter Solberg also had issues with his tyres throughout the rally. After Subaru switched to Template:Nowrapes from Pirelli following the 2006 season, and with the shortest break between seasons the WRC had seen, the crews had not had enough time to test the new compounds. The Subarus had had their problems with the Pirellis, too. To protect them from breaking up too quickly the drivers had learned how to look after them, but driving that way on the new brand meant that he could not get the BFs up to temperature and ended up running slower.<ref name="Yearbook 50" /> He finished the rally in sixth place.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /><ref name="Pirelli 47" /> His teammate Atkinson did not have that problem though, and after fighting with Hirvonen in the final half of the rally, finished in fourth place. "It's been a massive battle, and so much fun to be in a battle with these guys again," he said after being congratulated by Hirvonen. Two drivers in non-manufacturer cars, Gardemeister and Kopecký, finished in seventh and eighth place to receive drivers points.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /><ref name="Pirelli 47" />

As a consequence of the final positions, Loeb started the season leading in the World Rally Championship for Drivers with ten points. Sordo was second with eight points, Grönholm was in third position with six points. In the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, Stobart Ford had one point from Henning Solberg's fourteenth-placed position (although Wilson finished the rally quicker, he was not nominated to earn points for the manufacturer). Stohl earned OMV-Kronos Citroën two points. Subaru were in third place with eight points, BP-Ford were two points clear of Subaru in second place, and Citroën Total WRT was first, with eighteen points – ten from Loeb's win and eight from Sordo.<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /><ref name="Pirelli 47" />

Statistics

Crew names in italics are able to score points for the manufacturer in the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers

Entry list

List of entrants
Car No Driver Co-driver Car Entrant Group /
Class
Priority
1 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
2 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
3 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
4 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
5 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
7 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
8 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
9 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
10 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 1
16 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 2
17 Template:Nowrap Template:N/a Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 2
18 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 2
19 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 2
20 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 2
21 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 2
26 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 2
27 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 2
61 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8
62 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8
63 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A7
64 Template:Nowrap Template:Sortname Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A7
65 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A7
66 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A7
67 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A6
68 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A6
69 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A6
70 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A6
71 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A6
72 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A6
73 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A6
74 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
75 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
76 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
77 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
78 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
79 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
80 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
81 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
82 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
83 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
84 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
85 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
86 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
87 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
88 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
89 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
90 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
91 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
92 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4
Sources:<ref name="Yearbook 52-53" />

Special stages

Itinerary of Special Stages
Stage No Name Type Distance
in km (mi)
Start time
(CET [UTC+1])
Status Winner Time (mm:ss) Avg. speed
in
km/h (mph)
Rally leader
Leg 1: Thursday, 18 January 2007
1 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Nowrap 19:16 Completed Template:Nowrap 13:58.7 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap
2 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Nowrap 20:06 Completed Template:Nowrap 9:31.2 Template:Nowrap
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 21:34 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="3" Template:N/a Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
Leg 2: Friday, 19 January 2007
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 06:50 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a Template:Nowrap
3 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 08:19 Completed Template:Nowrap 29:43.4 Template:Nowrap
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 09:25 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
4 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 10:13 Completed Template:Nowrap 9:39.3 Template:Nowrap
5 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 10:59 Completed Template:Nowrap 8:00.7 Template:Nowrap
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 13:28 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
6 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 15:17 Completed Template:Nowrap 28:29.7 Template:Nowrap
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 16:23 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
7 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 17:11 Completed Template:Nowrap 9:43.2 Template:Nowrap
8 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 17:57 Completed Template:Nowrap 8:16.4 Template:Nowrap
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 19:56 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="3" Template:N/a Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
Leg 3: Saturday and Sunday, 20–21 January 2007
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 06:00 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a Template:Nowrap
9 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 07:31 Completed Template:Nowrap 10:47.2 Template:Nowrap
10 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 08:13 Completed Template:Nowrap 12:42.7 Template:Nowrap
11 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 09:38 Completed Template:Nowrap 11:46.9 Template:Nowrap
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 11:12 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
12 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 13:00 Completed Template:Nowrap 10:45.1 Template:Nowrap
13 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 13:45 Completed Template:Nowrap 12:32.4 Template:Nowrap
14 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 15:10 Completed Template:Nowrap 11:30.5 Template:Nowrap
15px Template:Nowrap colspan="2" Template:N/a 16:29 Completed colspan="3" Template:N/a
15 Template:Nowrap Tarmac Template:Convert 09:00 Completed Template:Nowrap 1:49.9 Template:Nowrap
Sources:<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" />

Classifications

Final classification after 15 Special Stages
Position Car
Number
Driver Co-driver Car Entrant Group /
Class
Stage time
(h:mm:ss)
Penalty
(mm:ss)
Total time
(h:mm:ss)
Diff.
(previous)
Diff.
(leader)
Group
position
Class
position
WRC Points
1 1 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:10:27.4 3:10:27.4 1 1 10
2 2 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:11:05.6 3:11:05.6 +38.2 +38.2 2 2 8
3 3 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:11:05.6 3:11:50.2 +44.6 +1:22.8 3 3 6
4 8 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:12:55.5 3:12:55.5 +1:05.3 +2:28.1 4 4 5
5 4 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:12:55.7 3:12:55.7 +0.2 +2:28.3 5 5 4
6 7 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:13:39.4 3:13:39.4 +43.7 +3:12.0 6 6 3
7 26 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:14:05.5 3:14:05.5 +26.1 +3:38.1 7 7 2
8 18 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:15:06.8 3:15:06.8 +1:01.3 +4:39.4 8 8 1
9 21 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:16:27.1 3:16:27.1 +1:20.3 +5:59.7 9 9
10 5 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:16:27.1 3:16:27.1 +1:20.3 +5:59.7 10 10
11 19 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:21:38.0 3:21:38.0 +4:33.3 +11:10.6 11 11
12 16 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:23:38.4 3:23:38.4 +2:00.4 +13:11.0 12 12
13 62 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:24:09.3 00:10 3:24:19.3 +40.9 +13:51.9 13 13
14 10 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:25:11.9 3:25:11.9 +52.6 +14:44.5 14 14
15 20 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:31:39.1 3:31:39.1 +6:27.2 +21:11.7 15 15
16 61 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:32:47.8 3:32:47.8 +1:08.7 +22:20.4 16 16
17 75 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4 3:32:56.6 3:32:56.6 +8.8 +22:29.2 1 1
18 67 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A6 3:34:58.1 00:10 3:35:08.1 +2:11.5 +24:40.7 17 1
25 67 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 3:45:39.9 3:45:39.9 +1:26.7 +35:12.5 20 17
Sources:<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /><ref name="Pirelli 47" />
Leading retirements
Stage Car
Number
Driver Co-driver Car Entrant Group /
Class
Cause
8 74 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap N4 Transmission
15 14 Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap Template:Nowrap A8 Roll cage damage
Sources:<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /><ref name="Pirelli 47">Holmes (2007); p. 47.</ref>

Championship standings after the event

Template:Col-start Template:Col-2

World Rally Championship for Drivers standings
Position Driver Points
1 Template:Nowrap 10
2 Template:Nowrap 8
3 Template:Nowrap 6
4 Template:Nowrap 5
5 Template:Nowrap 4
6 Template:Nowrap 3
7 Template:Nowrap 2
8 Template:Nowrap 1
Sources:<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /><ref name="Pirelli 47" />

Template:Col-2

World Rally Championship for Manufacturers standings
Position Manufacturer Points
1 Template:Nowrap 18
2 Template:Nowrap 10
3 Template:Nowrap 8
4 Template:Nowrap 2
5 Template:Nowrap 1
Sources:<ref name="Rallycourse 72-73" /><ref name="Yearbook 52-53" /><ref name="Pirelli 47" />

Template:Col-end

Notes

Template:Reflist

References

External links

Template:WRC race report

Template:2007 World Rally Championship season Template:Monte Carlo Rally

Template:Coord