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Monday, November 29, 2021

Ogier seals emotional eighth world title in fashion

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The Toyota driver held his nerve and regardless of a late scare when he clipped a concrete barrier, the Frenchman accomplished the ultimate three phases to beat Toyota teammate and title rival Elfyn Evans to the rally win and the championship.

Ogier secured his fifth victory of the season with a 7.3s margin over Evans after a titanic battle throughout the three days. The lead modified arms six instances between the pair because the Welshman fought valiantly to maintain his slim title hopes alive, having began the weekend 17 factors adrift of his rival. 

It proved to be a fairytale end for Ogier as he prepares for semi-retirement, contesting solely handful of WRC occasion’s for Toyota subsequent 12 months, whereas it was the ultimate occasion for co-driver Julien Ingrassia after 16 years alongside Ogier. 

“I do not know what to say – it is superb.” stated Ogier in entrance of a bumper crowd that mobbed him at stage end, after sealing the 2021 title so as to add to triumphs in 2013-2018 and 2020.

The Frenchman led from the primary stage edging his team-mate on the mountain phases earlier than dropping 1.4s behind Evans, who starred on phases held on the Monza grand prix circuit.

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On Saturday, the lead modified arms 5 instances throughout six phases, 4 exams within the Bergamo mountains and two at Monza circuit, as Ogier headed Evans by 0.5s heading into Sunday. 

Ogier’s title hopes might have ended when he hit a concrete barrier on Monza’s historic banking in Sunday’s first stage together with his entrance proper wheel, however fortunately he prevented vital harm. 

Moments later Evans’ victory hopes have been dealt a blow within the penultimate stage when he ran large throughout a circuit part and stalled his Yaris, costing him 7.1s to Ogier.

A measured drive to complete second within the last Energy Stage sealed a 54th WRC profession win forward of Evans.

“It has been a reasonably okay 12 months, I can not assist however really feel a bit disenchanted proper now,” stated Evans. “You at all times look to the locations you possibly can have accomplished higher, however I’ve to say a extremely particular thanks to this crew.” 

Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Picture by: Toyota Racing

The consequence additionally clinched the producers’ title for Toyota in Jari-Matti Latvala’s first 12 months as crew boss. It was additionally the ultimate occasion for this era of WRC vehicles because the sequence prepares for its Rally1 hybrid future in 2022.

Hyundai’s Dani Sordo secured the ultimate spot on the rostrum forward of teammate Thierry Neuville, who surrendered third on Saturday when he hit an armco barrier on stage 9.

The Belgian sealed third within the championship standings by profitable the Energy Stage to complete fourth total in Monza.

After two stalls on the ultimate stage, Oliver Solberg (2C Competitors) netted his profession greatest WRC consequence after a formidable weekend-long run to fifth total in solely his fourth high flight outing within the championship.

Standing-in for 2019 world champion Ott Tanak at Hyundai, Teemu Suninen managed to say sixth regardless of just one check day behind the wheel of the automotive previous to the occasion.

A swift restore to the entrance left destroyed after a crash within the penultimate stage allowed Takamoto Katsuta to complete seventh forward of M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith, who drove well all through to safe eighth.

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera ended the rally in ninth having been tasked by his crew to drive conservatively all through the occasion to make sure the operation received the producers’ title.

The Finn gave the spectators lots to cheer about by intentionally performing some donuts throughout the last stage.  

“There was some issues with the pacenotes,” he joked, when requested concerning the donuts.

“A giant congratulations and thanks to the crew. It was a fantastic 12 months, a tremendous automotive and I believe we actually confirmed this 12 months that we’re with a tremendous crew.”

M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux reached the end after restarting on Saturday following a roll in stage 3 on Friday.  

The WRC will return subsequent 12 months on the Monte Carlo Rally from 20-23 January. 

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