Three-way fight in the World Cup that starts in Monte Carlo

Almost without having digested the sushi eaten in the last date of the 2022 season in Japan, The 2023 World Cup kicks off this weekend with the legendary Monte Carlo Rally. A contest in which a three-way fight is expected between the defending champion, Kalle Rovanpera in his Toyota, and Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville in their renewed projects with Ford and Toyota…with Dani Sordo back in action as Spain’s ‘flagship’.

Second season of the hybrid era and Rovanpera will be the man to beat after the intractable dominance shown last year. But his two main rivals, Tanak and Neuville will seek revenge. The Estonian on his return to Ford and the Belgian with the renewed Hyundai team, which has its new boss, Cyril Abiteboul, after a year without a ‘main team’. They are, a priori, the top candidates for the 2023 crown, since the ‘secondary actors’, Elfyn Evans, Esapekka Lappi or Pierre Louis Loubet, did not show signs last year of being able to get into that fight. The drivers who will not follow the full season also enter the equation, Sebastien Ogier, Craig Breen or Takamoto Katsuta, with the doubt of whether Sebastien Loeb will return to the stages, but in this case fighting for the isolated victories and not the title.

And the one who continues in the gap for another year is Sordo. The Spaniard begins his 18th season playing in a first-rate team, 10th in the ranks of Hyundai. He has signed a contract to run eight events starting in Monte Carlo, and he will surely give us joy again and continue to increase his bulky record of podiums (54) and perhaps also that of victories (3).

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As happened last year, the Monte Carlo Rally, the most prestigious of the event, will be located in the Principality. The sections of the Alpes-Maritimes will be the scene of the start of the World Cup with the question of whether there will be snow or ice after a winter with little cold and precipitation. The test starts on Thursday afternoon at the mythical Col de Turini, which will also be the stage where Sunday ends at noon.

World Rally Calendar 2023

  • January 19 to 22: Monte Carlo Rally (asphalt and snow)
  • February 9-12: Rally Sweden (snow)
  • March 16 to 19: Rally Mexico (dirt)
  • April 20-23: Rally Croatia (asphalt)
  • May 11 to 14: Rally de Portugal (gravel)
  • June 1 to 4: Rally d’Italia (gravel)
  • June 22-25: Kenya Safari Rally (dirt)
  • July 20-23: Rally Estonia (gravel)
  • August 3-6: Rally Finland (gravel)
  • September 7 to 10: Acropolis Rally of Greece (dirt)
  • September 28 to October 1: Rally de Chile (dirt)
  • October 26-29: Central Europe Rally (asphalt)
  • November 16-19: Rally Japan (asphalt)

World Rally Teams 2023


– Vehicle: Yaris

– Pilots full season: Kalle Rovanpera and Elfyn Evans

– Part-time drivers: Sebastien Ogier and Takamoto Katsuta


– Vehicle: i20

– Full season drivers: Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi

– Part-time drivers: Dani Sordo and Craig Breen


– Vehicle: Cougar

– Drivers full season: Ott Tanak and Pierre Louis Loubet

– Part-time drivers: Sebastien Loeb?

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