The Toyota title contenders have been separated by 0.5s earlier than the ultimate day’s motion in Italy, however after an eventful morning loop, Ogier’s rally lead has prolonged to 7.6s and he stays heading in the right direction to safe an eighth world title in his last full-time outing.
Ogier clipped a concrete barrier (pictured beneath) that marked out a chicane on Monza’s historic grand prix circuit banking in stage 14 (Grand Prix 2). Fortunately the influence solely took a bit out of the Frenchman’s right-front wheel and he completed the check one second behind stage winner Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), who holds fourth within the total classification.
“I did not anticipate it. It’s very simple right here to hit one thing,” mentioned Ogier after the incident.
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC
Picture by: WRC.com
Evans managed to finish the stage cleanly however might solely match Ogier’s time to protect the 0.5s hole to his rival.
Nonetheless, the Welshman’s victory and slim title hopes suffered a blow on stage 15 (Serraglio), the ultimate check of the morning, when he locked up and run on at nook and stalled the automobile. After re-firing the automobile he suffered one other stall, this one surprisingly occurring mid drift in a nook, earlier than ending the stage 16.8s behind Neuville, who claimed his second stage win in a row.
“I locked up the brakes and could not get the automobile turned and went into the bales and stalled,” mentioned Evans. “We had one other stall in a while too. Not an amazing stage.”
After his fortunate escape within the earlier check, Ogier drove sensibly to achieve the stage finish 9.7s shy of Neuville, however 7.1s sooner than Evans to open up a comparatively snug lead heading into the ultimate stage of the season.
“I used to be driving protected, I used to be a bit on the protected aspect however it was a clear stage,” mentioned Ogier. “When you find yourself right here, you are taking it.”
Hyundai’s Dani Sordo accomplished the 2 morning phases cleanly to stay within the last podium spot, some 21.6s behind Ogier, however 14.3s forward of team-mate Neuville.
Regardless of a spin after being caught out by gravel dragged onto the circuit, Oliver Solberg ended the loop in fifth spot and stays heading in the right direction for his greatest WRC end up to now driving a 2C Competitors Hyundai i20 WRC automobile.
Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai 2C Competitors Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Picture by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport
Hyundai’s Teemu Suninen has climbed to sixth after Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta suffered a wild spin after locking his rear wheels sending him right into a concrete barrier that worn out his entrance left wheel.
Katsuta, who dropped to seventh, limped via the stage and again into service however it’s unclear if his Yaris may be repaired in time for the ultimate Energy Stage.
M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith ended the morning eighth total after struggling an an identical spin to Solberg on stage 15, whereas Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera, who elected to run winter tyres, is ninth.
Rally Monza will conclude this afternoon with one final blast via the Serraglio stage.
WRC Rally Monza – Outcomes after SS14