The Frenchman has replaced reigning world champion Ott Tanak at the Japanese manufacturer after the Estonian moved to Hyundai.

Belgian Thierry Neuville was second fastest for champions Hyundai over the 3.35km stage near the service park in Gap with another Toyota newcomer, Welshman Elfyn Evans, third in dry conditions. Tanak was fourth.

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"So far, everything is good and running like we were hoping," commented Ogier, who did a best time of one minute 57.1 seconds.

"Shakedown doesn't mean much and you don't need to make any conclusions from the results, but it's always a good sign if you are in the rhythm already.

"We can be confident heading into the rally, but this is probably the one rally of the season where you need to stay humble at the start as the conditions can make it so tricky," added the driver who won for now-departed Citroen a year ago.

Ogier has triumphed seven times in Monte Carlo, a record he shares with compatriot Sebastien Loeb.

The rally proper starts from Monte Carlo's harbour on Thursday night with two dark and potentially icy stages on the route back to Gap. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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