Sebastien Ogier began his challenge for the FIA World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo where he left off last season by winning.
Driving a works VW Polo the French driver despite a strong three car Citroen works challenge with drivers Sebastien Loeb, Mads Ostberg and Ulsterman Kris Meeke; yet again the combination of Ogier and the German car triumphed. His winning margin was 58 seconds.
Loeb and Meeke both saw their challenge fail at the end of the second day, but under Rally 2 rules Meeke re-entered the fray and in the second half of the event set fastest time on three stages including the Power Stage, which earned him three points and at the finish in Monte Carlo he brought his Citroen DS3 home in tenth place with Loeb eighth.
The third works Citroen in the hands of Mads Ostberg finished fourth overall with the top three placings going the way of the works Polos, Ogier from Jar Matti-Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen.
Despite a difficult start Irish driver Craig Breen came through to finish runner up in WRC 2 and to finish 13th overall.
Speaking at the finish Ogier said: “Victory in Monte Carlo means a lot, so close to my home town, and at the first rally of the season. It is a huge challenge but the satisfaction is even more when you make it.”