Sebastien Ogier not only won Rally Monza but he secured the FIA WRC title as well beating Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans and Hyundai’s Dani Sordo.


Elfyn Evans led FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza on Friday night after a thrilling FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) title scrap with team-mate Sébastien Ogier. Ogier was the master of the mountains to lead after four fiendishly difficult speed tests in the Italian Alps. Evans had the better of the afternoon at Monza’s ‘Temple of Speed’ circuit to close the first of three days with a 1.4sec advantage.

Evans is bidding to wipe out a 17-point deficit and deny his Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate an eighth world title in nine seasons. But Ogier is currently doing enough to finish his full-time WRC career on the best possible note. Ogier won three of the first four special stages in fog and on slippery asphalt to lead by 6.5sec in his Toyota Yaris World Rally Car. Brake problems hampered the Frenchman at Monza and Evans took advantage to charge to the front.

The Welshman was relieved to emerge unscathed from a tough final stage in darkness and falling temperatures. The front-running pair left others in their wake. Thierry Neuville was best of the rest, 20.2sec adrift in third place in a Hyundai i20. The Belgian overcame handling problems in the mountains and an afternoon gearbox issue to win one stage.

Team-mate Dani Sordo initially headed Neuville, but the Spaniard dropped behind and gradually fell away as he fought an understeering car. He bounced back to win the final stage and ended 3.0sec adrift in fourth. Oliver Solberg impressed en route to fifth in another i20. The young Swede survived a half spin to close the day 26.0sec behind Sordo and 14.9sec ahead of Takamoto Katsuta’s Yaris.

The Japanese driver conceded a handful of seconds after stalling his engine but remained clear of Gus Greensmith’s Ford Fiesta in seventh. Teemu Suninen eased through the day to hold eighth on his debut in a top-level i20. Ninth was a cautious Kalle Rovanperä in another Yaris, the Toyota Gazoo Racing man a back-up to Ogier and Evans. His role is to ensure sufficient points are in the bag to seal the manufacturers’ crown should his battling colleagues fall by the wayside.

WRC3 leader Yohan Rossel completed the leaderboard in 10th. Adrien Fourmaux was the only major retirement. The Frenchman was sixth in a Fiesta when he drifted wide in a corner, hit a wall and rolled back across the road.


Sébastien Ogier moved within touching distance of an eighth FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) after a pulsating battle with team-mate Elfyn Evans at FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza on Saturday. The lead changed hands five times in six speed tests as Ogier snatched top spot with a charging drive through the closing special stage on Monza’s maze of roads. He leads Evans by just 0.5sec after nearly 215km of flat-out action.

A top-three finish for Ogier would secure the crown in his final rally before retiring from full-time competition. While the Frenchman would like nothing more than to bow out with a 54th rally victory, his eye remains on the title. Ogier snatched top spot from Evans in the opening stage in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The lead changed twice more in the morning before the action switched to Monza for two afternoon stages – and another two turnarounds at the top of the order.

Thierry Neuville restarted with the aim of gate-crashing the fight for the lead. He won the opening San Fermo test in his Hyundai i20 but thumped a barrier in the next stage on cold tyres, ripping the bumper and aero from the front of the car. He conceded almost 30sec to slip behind team-mate Dani Sordo and battled through the morning’s remaining two tests with an aero imbalance. Sordo had early handling issues but became happier as the day progressed and ended third, 19.2sec of his colleague.

Oliver Solberg, driving another i20, was fifth, 34.6sec behind Neuville. The young Swede drove his tyres to the limit on the abrasive mountain roads and a similarly aggressive approach at Monza resulted in a few unplanned slides. Sixth was Japan’s Takamoto Katsuta. The Yaris pilot found grip hard to come by initially this morning and a couple of mistakes on the track this afternoon frustrated him. He ended 17.6sec adrift of Solberg and 38.3sec clear of Teemu Suninen, who got the better of Gus Greensmith.

Greensmith was delayed by brake problems on his Ford Fiesta throughout the morning and Suninen, driving an i20 World Rally Car for the first time, eased ahead into seventh. The pair were covered by 7.7sec, Suninen happy to escape unscathed after touching a barrier but struggling to find his braking points on the circuit tests. With Toyota Gazoo Racing intent on securing the manufacturers’ title, Kalle Rovanperä drove cautiously to secure the points required should Ogier and Evans hit trouble ahead in their furious fight. The Finn was ninth with WRC3 leader Yohan Rossel 10th.


Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia swept to a remarkable eighth FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) title in nine seasons in Italy on Sunday afternoon. The Frenchmen ended their careers together in style with victory at FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza after a thrilling showdown with Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Elfyn Evans.

The lead changed hands six times across three days of challenging speed tests in the foothills of the Italian Alps and at Monza’s iconic Temple of Speed circuit. The outcome was decided when Evans spun in the penultimate speed test, allowing Ogier to win by 7.3sec in a Yaris World Rally Car. Ogier will step back from full-time driving next year while this marked Ingrassia’s final rally.

Ogier survived a massive final morning fright when he clipped a concrete barrier at Monza. The impact took a chunk out of his front right tyre, but the Pirelli rubber remained inflated. His championship winning margin was 23 points from Evans. Their 1-2 finish ensured a clean sweep of the major titles as Toyota also secured the manufacturers’ honours for the first time since 2018 after winning nine of the 12 rounds.

Dani Sordo completed the podium in a Hyundai i20, 14.0sec behind Evans. Spaniard Sordo demoted team-mate Thierry Neuville on Saturday afternoon when the Belgian spun into a barrier. Neuville ended 10.7sec behind. Oliver Solberg scored a career-best fifth place despite stalling his i20’s engine twice in the final stage. Teemu Suninen climbed to sixth in a similar car when Takamoto Katsuta spun into a barrier and broke his Yaris’ front left suspension in the penultimate stage.

Katsuta recovered to finish seventh ahead of Gus Greensmith’s Ford Fiesta. The Briton also spun in the penultimate test but ended almost two minutes clear of Kalle Rovanperä. The young Finn, winner of two rounds this season, drove cautiously all weekend to bag points for Toyota’s title bid in case Ogier and Evans hit trouble. WRC3 winner Andrea Crugnola completed the leaderboard in an i20 N Rally2. The event marked the end of the World Rally Car era after 25 seasons. Next year will bring the introduction of exciting new hybrid-powered Rally1 cars to the championship.

Here’s the full WRC Rally Monza result:

[Note: The above is as per the press release from WRC]