The most worrying image of Friday’s day at the Montecarlo Rally was the one left by the chilling accident that the French starred in Adrien Fourmaux and his navigator when his car fell into a ravine during the third stage. Fortunately, the occupants of the vehicle did not suffer serious injuries, but they had to abandon the race that marks the beginning of the season in the world championship.
It all happened when Fourmaux’s Ford vehicle and his companion, Alexandre Coria, was in fourth place in the general classification, very close to fulfilling his aspirations of reaching a podium position. However, a bad maneuver was going to conspire against his good performance. A poor calculation caused the car to hit a rock and then flip several times at full speed to go over the containment barriers until falling several meters down a ravine.
The images that went viral on social networks caused great commotion, but the tranquility came when it was learned that neither the pilot nor his navigator had suffered injuries. They both came out unharmed of the terrible accident they suffered thanks to the security measures that are in force in the rally, above all, the safety cage that includes the passenger compartment of the cars. In his case, this device saved his life even when the Ford was totally destroyed.
Hours later, the French driver – who had to withdraw from the competition – brought peace of mind with a message through his social networks. “This is a message to tell you that both Alexandre and I are fine. This is a big disappointment for me. A year preparing the Puma Hybrid Rally1 together with M-Sport Ford M and I had great expectations for this rally and for my first full season”, he wrote on his Twitter account.
And, finally, he assumed his responsibility for what happened and hoped to return to the competition on the next date, to be played between February 24 and 27. “I think of the team that has worked relentlessly day and night to enable us to evolve into the best possible car. I am very sorry for this mistake. We will not leave tomorrow, we will work even harder to come back stronger in Sweden.”
The French Sebastian Loeb (Ford Puma Rally1) became this Friday, at 47 years, 10 months and 16 days, the oldest driver to lead a World Rally rally by taking command in Monte Carlo after the dispute of the six stages of the second day.
Loeb, a nine-time world rally champion who has just competed in the demanding Dakar 2022, beat the Swedish record for the oldest age for six months Björn Waldegard, who also did it at the age of 47 in the 1991 Kenya Safari.
The Frenchman, who has won the Monegasque rally seven times, leads the first round of the hybrid era of the World Championship with a 9.9-second advantage over his compatriot Sebastien Ogier (Toyota GR Yaris), second in the table, and just 22 over the British Elfyn Evans (Toyota GR Yaris), third.
Loeb moved into the lead after winning the first three stages on Friday and took it from Ogier, who on Thursday was fastest on the opening day’s two stages of a rally he has won eight times. The Frenchman from Ford also won the fourth stage and for the rest of the day he remained in the lead.