A peerless performance from Race Fanatic in the perilous mountains of Monte Carlo has seen him claim his first win in the AOR Rally league, claiming five fastest stages in the process. With a time of 26:13.683 overall, @Race Fanatic was able to see off close competition from @Banz and take the first victory of the season. There was little to choose between them throughout the rally, but it was @Race Fanatic who was consistently able to edge ahead by mere seconds on each stage. Rounding off the podium was last season’s runner up @EpilepticToast just over half a minute off the pace, meaning that two-time champion @Nico had to settle for fourth. In the constructor’s it was domination for Ford Motorsport, with @Race Fanatic being supported well by @Jarod in fifth, and @AddictivePenguin in seventh, with the latter being the only person other than Fanatic to claim a fastest stage (stage five) of the rally. Team AOR are the best of the rest early doors, already with an eighteen point deficit. After such a momentous result, this is what @Race Fanatic had to say about his Monte Carlo rally: "I'm obviously satisfied with how the rally went overall. The car felt great on the stages and I had it easy to push. I noticed early in practice that I was very competitive and then I more or less decided to make sure I run times that the rest will struggle to beat. Banz was fairly close in pace but I had a small pace advantage which meant I was consistently increasing the gap throughout the rally. I think I will struggle to repeat this success during this season as I'm far away from as confident on the loose surface. All I can do is try to do my maximum for all rounds and then see where it gets me." A great turn-out of seventeen drivers in the World Championship made this a great start to the season, although unfortunately there were DNFs for @TRL Axeman, @C-FOGARTY, and @Edwinsimo, proving that any of the drivers can pay the price for a momentary lapse in concentration in the cruel discipline of rallying. Meanwhile in the Pro Championship it was @RCFloOm who was able to take the honours, with a very impressive time of 26:55.199, which would have been good enough for fifth place in the World Championship, despite having a slightly slower car at his disposal. Second place was particularly hotly contested, with @RC Benkiwi85 just four tenths of a second ahead of @VBR Hayasa, with @Mr AlcoN and @Th3HolyMoose being forced to settle for fourth and fifth respectively though just seconds back. The top two drivers are both members of the PSRC1 team, which means that they were impressively able to claim the maximum available points for the constructor’s championship, and the favourite’s tag for the rest of the season. Alike to the World Championship, the Pro Championship saw a good turn-out of 81 drivers, with 60 finishers, which was a noticeable improvement on last season’s Monte Carlo rally despite the more difficult course. Moving forwards from Monte Carlo the drivers will be plunging themselves into hectares of snow at the Swedish rally. The lack of tarmac seen in the Monte Carlo rally will reduce the grip for the drivers significantly, making this one of the more challenging events of the season. The Swedish rally is also extremely difficult to memorise due to the sea of white that the drivers have to negotiate, which alongside the unforgiving snowbanks means that this rally is a battle of attrition, as any mistake could be costly. One driver who knows what it takes to be successful in Sweden is the reigning two time champion @Nico, who was interviewed following the Monte Carlo rally. Q: What did you make of your performance in the Monte Carlo rally? A: I did not do much practice for Monaco, so I'm very happy with the result [fourth place]. How does it feel to be the only champion of the AOR Rally league? The competition here is very high, so have to say it feels great. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts, and be content when it ends, as it inevitably will. Who do you think may stand in your way of retaining your crown? Have to say Race Fanatic is looking like the favorite at the moment now that he has ditched the Escort. Obviously I can't rule out Banz and EpilepticToast either. What rally are you looking forward to most this season? Has to be Finland. It's also where I crash the most; I can't seem to slow down there! Which era of cars is your favourite, and what do you make of the challenge given by the 2000s cars? The 80s cars - I love to drive RWD cars. Nothing like spending time with a RWD, crashing the thing and learning its limitations. 2000s are pretty easy cars to drive, so learning the tracks well will be the real challenge this season I think. Finally, what challenges do you think the Swedish rally will provide? Sweden is maybe the most difficult rally on the game. There are a lot of fast bumpy sections that can easily throw you into a snowbank if you're a little off line or too heavy on the throttle. Also, there are a lot of tight and sometimes icy corners that can catch you out. Sweden should be a good rally for me, I love driving on snow and I know this stage well so hopefully I can be in the fight for the win here. For the Swedish rally there will be the first entries of Wildcard drivers from the Pro Championship, into the World Championship, as the team managers look to take advantage of the demanding nature of the rally. Team Lamp Post manager @RBOS_00 has controversially selected himself to step up to the plate for his team, although he was able to claim a personal best P13 at last season's Swedish rally, making it a clear favourite event for the Team Lamp Post manager. Japp Motorsport team leader @Tigerkart_22 has selected the Monte Carlo victor @RCFloOm to compete for his team, whom he will be confident of a good result to jump off the foot of the constructor's table. The remaining four teams have yet to use a wildcard, which means that they still have two remaining for the rest of the season. Thanks to both @Race Fanatic and @Nico for their time, and congratulations to all drivers who were able to finish the season opener in Monte Carlo. The highlights from the World Championship will be available on @FisiFan91's channel soon, but in the meantime, you can find out more about the World Championship and the Pro Championship in the forum threads linked. Remember that sign-ups will be open throughout the season to the Pro Championship here. Good luck to all drivers for the Swedish rally!