The opening stage of the 78th Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo gets underway later this morning with Portuguese driver Bruno Magalhaes set to run first on the road in his Peugeot 207 Super 2000.
Magalhaes, 29, is making his debut on the famous event as part of a planned eight-round
attack on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
He said: “It’s like a dream to be here but unfortunately I don’t have any experience of this event so there is a lot to learn. For example I have never driven on snow and ice before. In Portugal I know only sunshine and beaches.”
Despite his lack of event knowledge, Magalhaes said his preparations for the rally had gone according to plan. He added: “The recce was without problems and it showed me the difficulties of this rally so I know what to expect now.”
Running behind Magalhaes on the road will be two more Peugeot 207s driven by French aces Sebastien Ogier and Stephane Sarrazin. Guy Wilks will be the first Skoda Fabia driver to tackle Wednesday’s four stages. He starts fourth ahead of factory Skoda driver Juho Hanninen and M-Sport Fiesta pilot Mikko Hirvonen, who is making his IRC debut. The top ten starters for leg one are as follows:
1 Bruno Magalhaes/Carlos Magalhaes Peugeot 207 S2000
2 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia Peugeot 207 S2000
3 Stephane Sarrazin/Jacques Julien Renucci Peugeot 207 S2000
4 Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh Skoda Fabia S20005
5 Juho Hanninen/Mikko Markkula Skoda Fabia S2000
6 Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen Ford Fiesta S2000
7 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle Peugeot 207 S2000
8 Jan Kopecky/Petr Stary Skoda Fabia S2000
9 Nicolas Vouilloz/Benjamin Veillas Skoda Fabia S2000
10 Toni Gardemeister/Tomi Tuominen Abarth Grande Punto S2000