MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) — Frenchman Sebastien Ogier won the season-opening Monte Carlo rally for a record ninth time on Sunday, breaking the tie with countryman Sebastien Loeb.
The eight-time world champion Ogier powered his Toyota to victory over defending world champion Kalle Rovanperä of Finland (Toyota) and Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai).
The 39-year-old Ogier won nine of the 18 special stages — including the first five — for his 56th race win. He finished 18.8 seconds ahead of Rovanperä and 44.6 clear of Neuville.
Loeb, who turns 49 next month, became the oldest winner of a rally when he won Monte Carlo last year, after Ogier sustained a puncture near the end of the four-day race.
Rally Sweden is the next race on Feb. 12.
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