Sebastien Ogier clinched a record eighth victory at Monte Carlo in the World Rally Championship’s season-opening event.
The Frenchman led by 13 seconds heading into day four and despite snow and ice he finished 32.6 seconds ahead.
Welshman Elfyn Evans, Ogier’s Toyota team-mate, finished second, with Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville third.
Ogier’s season is off to a perfect start as he won the power stage to add five bonus points to his maximum score.
„That’s not a bad end to the weekend! The car has been amazing – it’s been such a pleasure,“ Ogier said. „I almost have tears in my eyes and I think it was a good decision to do one more year.“
Ogier’s 50th WRC win outdid compatriot Sebastien Loeb, the nine-time world champion who won in Monte Carlo seven times.
Evans was also pleased with his start, despite having led by seven seconds after day two.
„It’s been good, but I felt never 100% as it should have been,“ he said.
„There were some good stages, but never consistently where I’d really like to be. Perhaps we were just a little below the point you could call the level of risk.“
1. Sebastien Ogier (FRA-Toyota), 30 points
2. Elfyn Evans (GBR-Toyota), 21 points
3. Thierry Neuville (BEL-Hyundai), 17 points
4. Kalle Rovanpera (FIN-Toyota), 16 points
5. Dani Sordo (ESP-Hyundai), 11 points
6. Takamoto Katsuta (JPN-Toyota), 8 points