With 3 great days at the 2002 Monte Carlo Rally, Citreon proved they have the driver and machine to take on the best. Despite two cars dropping out before the event started, Sebastien Loeb drove the third and final car to victory leading all three days. Unfortunately, mysterious engine problems plagued the Xsara which caused the engine to shut off at any time. On the third day Sebastien’s own car shut off for 15 seconds cosing him valuable time.
For now, Sebastien Loeb is the 2002 Monte Carlo Rally winner, but for how long? A two-minute penalty hangs over his head for a tire change which was made in an unauthorized area. The penalty was immediately suspended after Citroen appealed. Within the next forty days the FIA will decide if the penalty will stand. If it should, that would make Subaru’s Tommi Makinen the most successful rally driver ever, with 24 wins and four Monte victories on the plate. It is a pity that accomplishment will be decided in a court and not out on the stages.