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Neuville fastest in first shakedown of 2018 FIA World Rally Championship

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Thierry Neuville - Hyundai Motorsport - Rallye Monte-Carlo
Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Thierry Neuville lead home a Hyundai 1-2 in the first shakedown of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship as competitors had their first taste of Rallye Monte-Carlo.

The Belgian completed the 3.35km Gap test in 2:00.2, just one tenth faster than his team-mate Dani Sordo as the top five were covered by less than a second.

Ott Tänak got his Toyota career off to a good start as he put in the third fastest time ahead of Kris Meeke‘s Citroën and Andreas Mikkelsen‘s Hyundai.

Jari-Matti Latvala outpaced reigning champion Sébastien Ogier as the Ford’s finished in seventh and eighth places.

Craig Breen and Esapekka Lappi recorded the same stage times to round out the top ten, ahead of an off-pace Bryan Bouffier who finished over six seconds slower than Neuville’s time after having to switch back to previous co-driver Xavier Panseri following an off in the recce that aggravated a neck injury Jérôme Degout.

Ott Tänak / Shakedown Onboard

1st Toyota Yaris WRC ONBOARD Video Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC) – watch ALL LIVE from tonight on wrcplus.com!#WRC #RallyeMonteCarlo #WRCLive

Posted by WRC – FIA World Rally Championship on Thursday, 25 January 2018

Outside of the main WRC class

Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Frenchman Eric Camilli headed up the WRC2 class as three Fords completed the shakedown at the top of the times, Teemu Suninen finished the session in second, making it an M-Sport 1-2.

Kevin Abbring finished third on his return to the international stage after taking a year away to compete in the Belgian Rally Championship.

Jan Kopecký was the fastest of non-Ford competitor as he finished fourth in his Skoda Fabia with Guillaume de Mevius in fifth and Eddie Sciessere rounding things out in sixth.

Outside of the registered WRC2 competitors, Kalle Rovanperä and Ole Christian Veiby sandwiched the Ford of Suninen as they showed impressive pace, while Stéphane Sarrazin finished just behind Kopecký.

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi was fastest of the four WRC3 competitors with Taisko Lario coming home second ahead of Enrico Brazzoli and Amaury Molle.

Nicolas Ciamin finshed fastest of the two RGT competitors, getting the better of Andrea Nucita as they got to grips with their Fiat 124 Abarth Rally RGT cars.

British driver Gus Greensmith was tenth fastest of the R2 machinery as he looks to make the most of his Rallye Monte-Carlo debut.

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