The Abu Dhabi Total WRT crew set the quickest time on their first run.
Held close to Gap, the Rallye Monte-Carlo shakedown provided an opportunity for Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle to impress. The Abu Dhabi Total WRT crew set the quickest time on their first run, before the road became increasingly muddy, making it impossible to improve at all. Meanwhile, Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau set the eighth fastest time.
Kris Meeke: “Although the shakedown isn’t very important, I was pleased to get back into the car in competitive conditions! The road wasn’t very representative of the rest of the rally; it was very narrow and became covered with mud very quickly. I felt confident, with a good feeling and my times were pretty good. Everything’s fine for the moment, but it’s just the start of what is likely to be a very difficult week! There was a lot of snow during recce but it has melted since then and we don’t really know what the conditions will be like in the rally itself. It’ll be especially difficult tomorrow evening, with the opening two stages being held after dark.”
Stéphane Lefebvre: “We were among the first crews to set off on the shakedown and the road was already pretty tricky. Compared with recce, which we did on the snow, it was a totally new experience! We made a few modifications after the second run, but the conditions had changed again and so we didn’t really learn a great deal. When all is said and done, it’s difficult to know how I compare with the others. I’m pleased with the work we did during recce. I already knew a good portion of the stages, so that made things easier. Everything is going well so far with Gabin in the co-driver’s seat, but I’m expecting us to need some time to adjust once the race gets underway.”
Abu Dhabi Total WRT