ABU DHABI TOTAL WRT: The season kicks off with the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo!

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Mo, 18/01/2016 - 17:14
The Abu Dhabi Total WRT has entered two cars at the Rallye Monte-Carlo (21-24 January), the opening round of the 2016 World Rally Championship. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle and Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau will have to meet the combined challenge of Monte’s demanding course and the typically wintry conditions that are expected at the event.

As usual, the new season – the final one for the generation of World Rally Cars that first appeared in 2011 – kicks off with the world’s most famous rally. Taking over from Citroën Racing – which is actively preparing for its return as a works team in 2017 – the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team will be competing at a number of European rounds of the WRC, starting with the Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Prepared by PH Sport and featuring the same technical spec as at the end of 2015, the two WRCs have been entrusted to crews of differing experience and ambitions. At 36 years old, Northern Irishman Kris Meeke is competing in what is already his eighth Monte-Carlo. After scoring a podium-finish here in 2014 alongside codriver Paul Nagle, he has proven his ability to keep out of trouble on the tricky course in the south of France. Already very familiar with the car and the Michelin tyres that will be available, he may have greater freedom here and be able to adopt a bolder strategy!

In comparison, 23 year-old Stéphane Lefebvre’s experience is more limited. That said, the young Frenchman has nonetheless secured two category wins in his two appearances here! Last year, he pulled off a real coup in winning the WRC2 class after a flawless performance in his DS 3 R5. Now competing alongside co-driver Gabin Moreau, Stéphane will be contesting only his sixth WRC rally, but he is determined to grab the opportunity to showcase his skills!

The Abu Dhabi Total WRT will undertake preparations this weekend, with two days of pre-event testing organised near to Gap. Recce gets underway next Monday before the crews get back into their race cars for the shakedown on Wednesday afternoon. The ceremonial start of the 84th Rallye Monte-Carlo will be held on Thursday at 6.15pm in Monaco’s Place du Casino. Friday and Saturday’s legs will be held on roads around Gap, before the short final day on Sunday, which includes runs on the famous Col de Turini.

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