With a triumph in the Monza Rally, Sébastien Ogier secured last year’s victory and the eighth title of world champion in car competitions. His last remaining rival and teammate Elfyn Evans in Toyota finished second in Italy. In the final accounting, they were divided by 23 points. The Japanese brand also won the title among the teams.
The Frenchman and the British fought for the victory throughout the competition. Key events occurred on Sunday morning. Ogier crossed the barrier at the old bend of the Monza circuit, but he didn’t hurt his car too much.
On the other hand, Evans skidded in the next special stage and his engine went out. At that moment, his loss increased to more than seven seconds.
In the final power stage, Ogier guarded his position and was able to celebrate the 54th winning rally and, above all, the second title of world champion behind the wheel of a Toyota. He won the previous one with Volkswagen (4) and Ford (2). Since 2013, Ott Tänäk interrupted his government only in the 2019 season.
“Did I ever win the rally?” the Frenchman asked the reporter at the finish line. “All I know is that I have a degree, the rest I didn’t even notice in those emotions. It’s an amazing feeling, all the guys (from Toyota) are great.”
Welsh Evans was second overall for the second year in a row. He lost 7.3 seconds to Ogier in Monza, the Spaniard Dani Sordo finished third in the last part of the season in Hyundai.
The Italian competition was the last event of the World Championship with cars of the current WRC specification. From next season, the rally specials must be equipped with a hybrid drive.
Rallye Monza, the final event of the World Car Championship:
1. Ogier, Ingrassia (Fr./Toyota Yaris) 2: 39: 08.6, 2. Evans, Martin (Brit./Toyota Yaris) -7.3, 3. Sordo, Carrera (Šp. / Hyundai i20) – 21.3, 4. Neuville, Wydaeghe (Belg./Hyundai i20) -32.0, 5. O. Solberg, Edmonson (Sweden, Brit./Hyundai i20) -1: 32.0, 6. Suninen, Markkula (Fin./Hyundai i20) -2: 22.6.
Final standings of the World Cup (after 12 races): 1. Ogier 230 b., 2. Evans 207, 3. Neuville 176, 4. Rovanperä (Fin./Toyota) 142, 5. Tänak (Est./Hyundai) 128, 6. Sordo 81.
Team ranking: 1. Toyota 522, 2. Hyundai 462, 3. M-Sport Ford 200, 4. Hyundai 2C 68.