The numbers are in from the first day of the 2019 WRC season, and the time difference between the podium finishers couldn’t be more promising. Following what had to be the all-time closest race between the three factory teams and Ford-backed privateer M-Sport in 2018, the first two stages of the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo ended with the victory of Ott Tänak’s Toyota Yaris WRC.
After some 25 miles at full throttle, the Estonian managed to beat Sebastien Ogier’s Citroën C3 WRC by 9.1 seconds, and Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC by 14.3.
Surprisingly, the shakedown before the two night stages was won by Kris Meeke, who’s still in the process of getting familiar with his new Toyota in tarmac specification. Following Ogier, teammate Tänak came in third, clearly enjoying the benefits of the world’s best do-it-all suspension system. And remember, this run wasn’t even for points…