On a day, today, in which we witnessed 5 changes at the top between Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans, the Special Stage 13 of the ACI Rally Monza Italia followed the script perfectly and presented yet another change.
Ogier closes the second day of competition of the penultimate WRC 2021 event in the lead thanks to the third special time, while Evans did not go beyond the fourth, 8 tenths behind his teammate. This led the 7-time world champion to return to the lead for the umpteenth time, now with a half-second advantage.
This result brings Ogier a little closer to the eighth title. Tomorrow the Gap champion will only need to arrive just behind Evans to win the title, but also third and fourth with Evans winning, to take the eighth title.
Ogier’s intention, however, seems to be to win the title with a success. It is understandable, because this is also the last race in which Ogier runs together with his historical navigator Julien Ingrassia.
Behind the first 2, almost all positions seem to be crystallized. Starting from third place, increasingly in the hands of Dani Sordo. The Spaniard took advantage of the mistake made by Thierry Neuville – now fourth – committed in PS9 to conquer a position and the margin is reassuring.
As for the Constructors’ World Championship, the “Double” is now approaching for Toyota, which already has the Drivers title in its pocket and, soon, will also have the one dedicated to Manufacturers.
The splendid race that Oliver Solberg is setting up is visible in his eyes, who up to now appeared very consistent and fast although he is at the first exit with the new navigator Elliott Edmondson. Teemu Suninen also did well, seventh at his debut with Hyundai, but now threatened by Gus Greensmith.
The British of the M-Sport team is showing all his skills in track tests, while Suninen does not seem to have the same aptitudes and, therefore, his placement in the general classification is by no means safe. Between the two there are just 7 “7 and tomorrow everything could change.
Takamoto Katsuta is the author of another great weekend. Sixth place confirms his progress and the feeling with Aaron Johnston next to him grows with each stage. Kalle Rovanpera is facing one of the most complex weekends: his non-performances are imposed by Toyota Racing. He is the driver who has the task of watching over the Constructors’ World Championship: should Ogier and Evans retire, he would have the task of finishing at least seventh. “It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it …”, someone would say.
The great news for the Italian colors comes from the RC2 priority pilots. Andrea Crugnola completed an extraordinary comeback and, thanks also to his 11th time in PS13, overtook Yohan Rossel and is now leader of the WRC3 classification.
The driver of Hyundai Italia from Varese, at the wheel of an i20 N Rally2, is in tenth position overall. So a result to be framed, but he will have to grit his teeth in the last tests of tomorrow to be able to cheer and celebrate an amazing result. Rossel, on the other hand, is getting closer and closer to winning the world class title.
As for the WRC2, on the other hand, Jari Huttunen is close to his first success with the M-Sport team’s Ford Fiesta Rally2. The Finn has a one-minute lead over Andreas Mikkelsen, with the latter having already won the title a few weeks ago.
The ACI Rally Monza Italia 2021 will resume tomorrow morning with Special Stage 14, the third to last of the event and of the season. This is Grand Prix 2 of 10.29 kilometers. The first car to enter the special will be the Ford Fiesta WRC of Adrien Fourmaux and Alexandre Coria at 7:48 am.
ACI Rally Monza Italy – Ranking after the SS13
|Pos.||Pilot / navigator||Car||Time / posting|
|1||Ogier / Ingrassia||Toyota Yaris WRC||2.13’27 “2|
|2||Evans / Martin||Toyota Yaris WRC||+0 “5|
|3||Sordo / Carrera||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+27 “4|
|4||Neuville / Wydaeghe||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+46 “6|
|5||Solberg / Edmondson||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+ 1’21 “2|
|6||Katsuta / Johnston||Toyota Yaris WRC||+ 1’38 “8|
|7||Suninen / Markkula||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+ 2’17 “1|
|8||Greensmith / Andersson||Ford Fiesta WRC||+ 2’24 “8|
|9||Rovanpera / Halttunen||Toyota Yaris WRC||+ 3’39 “1|
|10||Crugnola / Little Man||Hyundai i20 N Rally2||+ 8’07 “1|
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