Tänak fastest on WRC Monte Carlo shakedown

Ott Tänak's Hyundai return starts well; Adrien Fourmaux's shakedown is less straightforward


Hyundai’s Ott Tänak set the benchmark in Wednesday’s Monte Carlo Rally shakedown stage, ahead of Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville.

Conditions on the two-mile Route de la Garde stage were dry and muddy, with plenty of dirt dragged into the middle of the road as cars made their runs.

That meant the top five didn’t improve after their first run: Tänak, in his first Hyundai appearance since 2022, edged Toyota driver Evans by just 0.1 seconds on the first pass.

The 2019 world championship admitted he’s a little apprehensive ahead of the new season.


“[It’s] quite exciting, and a bit nervous as well to start the new year,” said Tanak “I’m in a new car again so it’s a big challenge. Even if I have been here before, it’s still a lot of unknown, so we’ll try to maximize.”

Evans is Toyota’s main challenger for this year’s drivers’ title and indicated there is still work to be done to tune his GR Yaris Rally1 to his liking before tomorrow’s opening stages.

He said: “It’s nice to be in the car. I’m never happy, on the whole [the car is] OK, but there’s not a lot of grip.”

Hyundai driver Neuville’s quickest run was 0.8s down on his returning team-mate, while nine-time Monte Carlo winner Sébastien Ogier ended shakedown a further 0.2s back.


Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta and Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen completed the top six, while the Rally1 field was rounded out by the two M-Sport Ford Pumas, with WRC rookie Grégoire Munster finishing ahead of Adrien Fourmaux.

On his return to a full-time Rally1 seat, Fourmaux immediately encountered a differential issue on his first run of the Route de la Garde stage.

While he would complete another two runs during shakedown, Fourmaux would still only set the eight-fastest time, 6.2s down on pace-setter Tänak.

Nikolay Gryazin topped the Rally2 order on his first run for Citroën, 0.5s clear of team-mate Yohan Rossel