The two Sebs went hard at it throughout the Monte Carlo Rally, outshining the new generation.

Ogier won the two opening night stages, before Loeb amazed everyone with his pace on Friday, then the reigning WRC champion blitzed through Saturday.

Victory was in Ogier’s grasp on the final morning, until a left-front puncture on the penultimate stage handed the lead back to Loeb.

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But there was still the final Power Stage to come – only for Ogier to jump the start and earn a time penalty. That meant Loeb and co-driver Isabelle Galmiche won by 10.5sec – but without that penalty, which Ogier accepted with good grace, the gap would have been just 0.5sec…

It was an epic duel, then, between two giants of rallying and a perfect way for the hybrid Rally1 era to begin, especially as fears over chronic reliability for the new generation of cars proved largely unfounded.

Motorsport greats: Bjorn Waldegard

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