INTRODUCTION: Frenchman Jean Ragnotti won 49th Monte Carlo Rally in Renault live on Friday (30 January).
SV Car No. 11 on night section rounds bend in front of spectators
Car No. 8 round same bend as No. 11. Crowd looking on (2 shots)
Car No. 4 round same bend. Cameraman filming (2 shots)
Car No. 23 round same bend (different angle) in front of spectators
Car No. 2 on same bend, same angle
Car No. 5 ditto
GV Daylight Monte Carlo waterfront
SV Cars surrounded by crowds crawling along to winning post
Winners open champagne bottles, shake and squirt them over crowd (3 shots)
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Frenchman Jean Ragnotti won 49th Monte Carlo Rally in Renault live on Friday (30 January). The punishing final stages not only saw favourite Hannu Mikkola pushed to the back of the field by steering trouble when he skidded into a bridge, but also knocked the car which took Mikkola's lead out of the event altogether with a cracked suspension. Frenchman Jean-Luc Therier had stayed in the lead from the time of Mikkola's accident on 27 January right up to the final night section on Thursday (29 January), even though his Porsche was reckoned old-fashioned compared to the new generation of supercharged cars specially designed for rallying.
SYNOPSIS: As the cars swept into Monte Carlo early on Friday morning, forecasters were already accurately predicting the final result.
Car No. 8, Talbot Lotus driven by Henri Toivonen of Finland, finished fifth, ahead of Bernard Darniche, who had come up from the back of the field in his Lancia Stratos, No. 4.
Car No. 23, a Porsche driven by Frenchman Jacques Almera, crossed the finish line in ninth position.
And car No. 2, a Fiat 131 Albarth driven by Finland's Markku Alan, came in seventh.
But merely to finish was an achievement in itself.
Friday's dawn over Monte Carlo marked the realisation of a dream for the winner, 35-year-old Jean Ragnotti, who has been entering the rally every year for the past 11 years. Ragnotti had a winning margin of two minutes and 45 seconds over fellow countryman Guy Frequelin, in a Talbot Lotus.