Rally Monza WRC 2021: Ogier claims eight WRC title after Italian victory

Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) has conquered his eighth WRC title after winning the Rally Monza WRC 2021last round of the 2021 World Rally Championship. The Frenchman has battled and defeated his rival and teammate, Elfyn Evans, in what seems like a repetition of last year’s events. 

Despite having fallen again at the hands of Ogier, Evans has fought for the title with great courage. The Welshman kept the battle up until the very final meters, regardless of how difficult his goal was to attain. He knew from the start that it wouldn’t be easy to cut back the 17 points that separated him from his rival, and not any rival for that matter, but the reigning champion!

Dani Sordo (Hyundai) finished in third place, 21.3 seconds behind the winner, enjoying a first-row seat to the titanic duel for the glory. Thanks to his great rhythm and regularity, the Spaniard reaped an extraordinary result, becoming the best Hyundai driver at the Rally Monza WRC 2021.

Sordo managed to unseat teammate Thierry Neuville from third place on Saturday  (SS9) and keep him at bay to win the bottom step of the podium. As for the Constructors’ World Title, Toyota snatched it from Hyundai in the end, thanks to its fabulous 1-2. This has been a very disappointing season for Hyundai.

The obvious inferiority of its i20 WRC against the Yaris WRC has rendered them unable to revalidate their 2020 title. The South Koreans have only managed to win three rounds (Arctic, Belgium and Spain) against the nine taken by the Japanese team. 

 

Neuville dominates on Sunday but Ogier holds off Evans 

The final day started with both contenders for the Monza Rally and the crown, extremely close to each other. Neuville, however, became the fastest on the last three stages of the season.   

Ogier and Evans started their final fight with the former just half a second ahead of the latter. After drawing at the first special of the day (SS14), Ogier in the second and penultimate one, increased his lead over Evans to 7,6 secondsFrom that moment on, he just had to concentrate on managing his advantage, which he did so losing only three-tenths of a second to Evans. 

This was the Frenchman’s fifth victory of the season (Montecarlo, Croatia, Sardegna, Kenya & Italy), with a 7.3-second margin over his teammate, who fought until the end to try and catch up with him. The predictions that labelled Ogier as the top favourite to win his eighth title and continue with his reign of the speciality have therefore been proved right. 

Besides his obvious quality at the wheel, Frenchman’s experience in such decisive battles has played an essential role in his defeating of Evans, as it became already evident in 2020. 

A legendary WRC career

Ogier has put the icing on the cake to a legendary career in the World Rally Championship, starring in one of the most dominant eras in its history. So much so that he is now just one title away from drawing up level with archenemy and compatriot Sebastien Loeb, the most successful WRC driver of all times (9 crowns). 

Regarding his future in the sport, things are still very much in the air after he announced that this was going to be his last WRC campaign as a full-time driver. Everything indicates that he will join a partial program in the 2022 World Rally Championship, which he could combine with his role at the Endurance World Championship with Toyota. 

Images of Rally Monza WRC 2021: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT.

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