WRC

Citroen withdraws Monte Carlo Rally appeal

Citroen withdraws Monte Carlo Rally appeal

The opening round of the 2002 World Rally Championship started with controversy over a two-minute penalty given to Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb and navigator Daniel Elena for changing tyres in the wrong service area. During the Rallye of Monte...

The opening round of the 2002 World Rally Championship started with controversy over a two-minute penalty given to Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb and navigator Daniel Elena for changing tyres in the wrong service area.

During the Rallye of Monte Carlo, the team acknowledged they had made an mistake; however, they lodged an immediate appeal against the decision stating that the penalty was too severe.

Tommi Makinen.
Photo by Subaru World Rally Team.
Loeb and Elena continued the event and finished first overall. Four-time WRC champion Tommi Makinen, who was running in second at the time, drove conservatively on the final day, only to find out at the finish that the penalty had been reversed pending appeal.

The final judgment was to have been made by the FIA Council in Geneva, Switzerland which kept the results of the rally provisional. On Friday, January 25, Citroen had withdrawn the appeal.

The official statement from Citroen reads:

"... as agreed with Sebastien Loeb and (co-driver) Daniel Elena, and in order to maintain a good relationship with the FIA and other competitors, Citroen does not wish to pursue this appeal".

Makinen, driving a Subaru for the first time in his career, is now the official winner of the first round of the 2002 World Rally Championship. The victory gives him an unprecedented record of four consecutive Monte Carlo wins, and he now becomes the most successful driver in WRC history with 24 career victories.

Commenting on Citroen's decision, FIA President Max Mosley said: "At its meeting on March 20, the World Motorsport Council will consider whether the rules can be improved, so as to avoid in future a situation which brought satisfaction to no one and diminished the sporting contest."

Makinen is now the overall points leader with 10 points, with Loeb in second and Carlos Sainz in third. Manufacturers' points were unaffected, as Citroen had not nominated Loeb to score points at Monte Carlo.

Revised results
Revised standings

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Tommi Makinen , Carlos Sainz , Sébastien Loeb , Daniel Elena
Teams Citroën World Rally Team