Already after the first race of the World Rally Championship, the Monte-Carlo Rally, we can say that the 2023 season will be Toyota's season. The combination of the best car and top level drivers is the most important step towards the 2023 championship.
The top two places in Monte-Carlo went to Toyota and both drivers are WRC champions.
Sebastien Ogier's very strong performance earned him victory in the first race of 2023.
Ogier S. / Landais Vincent took the lead after the first stage and held the top spot throughout. This is a very strong claim for the championship title this season.
Ogier's team-mate Kalle Rovanpera was not as consistent during the race, but still stood at the front and managed to reach second place just 18.8 seconds behind Ogier.
The third place goes to the team of Hyundai and Neuville T. / Wydaeghe M.
Neuville continues to be unconvincing after exiting the track, thankfully with very little loss, as well as an overheated tire and spin problem. But overall the podium is a very good start to the season.
Actually, in the last two days of the competition, there were no changes in the forehead. The tracks remained mostly dry.
Among the other teams, Tänak Ott / Järveoja M. with Ford Puma finished first, as Tanak complained about problems with power steering. Tanak's gap of 2:34.8 is serious, with the other Toyota car crewed by Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott in front of him.
Katsuta T. / Johnston Aaron (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) complete the six.
The Power Stage was won by Rovanperä K. / Halttunen Jonne (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid), with Ott Tanak just 0.6s behind. in the second position in the stage.
Sordo Dani / Carrera Cándido complained of multiple problems with the hybrid Hyundai i20 N Rally1 and were extremely unhappy with the 7th position.
Gryazin Nikolay / Aleksandrov K. (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) finished first in RC2, just 4.5 seconds ahead of Rossel Yohan / Dunand Arnaud (Citroën C3 Rally2).
The next race of the championship is Rally Sweden on 9-12 February 2023.