WATCH | Tänak crashes out of Monte Carlo Rally

Reigning World Rally champion Ott Tänak and co-driver and compatriot Martin Jarveoja crashed out of the season-opening Monte Carlo rally on Friday, January 24. 

The duo’s Hyundai i20 left the road during the fourth special stage. 

The car seems to put two wheels on the snow-covered section off the road and the 32-year-old Estonian loses control of the vehicle, veering off the mountain and rolling multiple times. 

According to the organisers both were unharmed, but their Hyundai was badly damaged.

Elfyn Evans won the stage ahead of Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville. 

Watch the crash here: 

AFP reported that Tanak, 32, has never won the Monte Carlo Rally. He was in fourth place overall when he crashed.

His team-mate Thierry Neuville was leading going into the stage from Saint-Clement-sur-Durance to Freissinieres but finished third, ceding the overall lead to Welshman Elfyn Evans in a Toyota who also won Friday’s opening stage.

“I was slowed down so much in that section,” Neuville, a Belgian, said. “I knew there was something when I saw Ott’s lines, so I lost quite a lot of time.”

Frenchman Sebastian Ogier, in a Toyota, was second on the stage and is third overall, 5.5sec behind Evans and 2.1sec behind Neuville.

“I hope Ott is okay,” Ogier said. “It was a very fast section where he went off with a big compression.”

The temperature was below freezing overnight and while there is not a lot of snow on the roads, patches of ice have made the route difficult since the start on Thursday evening.

Several drivers have already been forced to retire after going off the road, including Britain’s Gus Greensmith (M-Sport Ford).

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