Opening round of the 2013 FIA world rally championship saw multiple world champion Sebastian Loeb of Citroen stamping his authority on this rally for the seventh time, amid cancellation of the last two stages on the safety ground. The Citroen driver led from the second stage and drove immaculately to win the race by 1min 39.9sec. He will be competing in only four rounds this season. Second place was secured by Sebastian Ogier driving the new Volkswagen Motorsport’s Polo R, who was delighted to be on the podium since the car displayed pace and reliability all through the rally on its debut, despite some frustating sessions in the pre-season testing. Third place went to Dani Sordo in another Citroen DS3. He battled with Russian Novikov all through and was promoted to third when the latter suffered a broken rear left on his Ford Fiesta RS. The four-day rally covering 425.93Km over 16 stages was based in Valencia for the first three legs, before it was relocated to Monaco. Snow and ice made it the most toughtest rally ever, and the huge number of spectators grid locking the narrow roads forced the organisers to cancel the last two stages of the final evening. Treacherous conditions ended the rally for the three drivers in the top seven on the leaderboard with Evgeny Novikov, Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hanninen crashing out on the first pass of the mythical Col de Turini stage.