On the eve of Rally Monza, the last act of the WRC 2021 World Championship, the seven-time French champion: “I feel privileged for this career”. At Hyundai, Neuville: “The new hybrid cars? In acceleration they look like dragster “
A season finale of the WRC Rally World Championship for the second consecutive time on stage in Italy. From Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 November the Forum8 Aci Rally in Monza will award the 2021 titles: among the drivers there was a two-way race between Sébastien Ogier, 17 points ahead of Elfyn Evans, both at the wheel of Toyota Yaris. The constructors laurel, on the other hand, sees Toyota Gazoo Racing leading by a margin of 47 points over Hyundai. “I feel privileged to have been a protagonist for so long in the sport I love – said the seven-time world champion Ogier, who in Italy is looking for an encore of the success earned in 2020 in Monza – Every story, however beautiful, has an end. For me and Julien (Ingrassia, the navigator, Ed) this weekend’s goal is to win. Then from 2022 the WRC will also change the page with the new Rally1 cars, an evolution compared to the Wrc Plus, but not a complete revolution “.
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING: OGIER’S WORDS
Theater of the last round was the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza and the asphalt of the Bergamo mountains with 16 special stages for 253 timed kilometers. Compared to 2020, when the snow made mountain tests even more complicated, the weather on the weekend of 21 November is expected to be positive, without disturbances. “The weather will be the first difference compared to a year ago – Ogier commented on the eve of the Monza Rally – The mountain tests seem good to me, but there is a parameter that can make the race more difficult, the altitude: by climbing of altitude we could find some fog. While on the track, in Monza, the organizers have designed the chicanes differently, and the dirt sections could be wet ”. The French driver who will celebrate 38 years on 17 December also points out the specific weight represented by the choice of Pirelli tires to use. “We will leave the service park early in the morning to head to the mountains – explains Ogier, who postpones at the end of the Wrc season every speech on the tests carried out with the Toyota Gazoo Racing Hypercar and on the possible endurance races in the near future – and we will stay 4-5 away. hours, conditions can change a lot compared to Monza, so the choice will be decisive ”.
RALLY MONZA 2021: EVANS SPEAKS
The Welsh Elfyn Evans arrives in Monza 17 points behind the leader of the standings: trying to win the title will be a complicated undertaking (if Ogier finishes in the top three he is mathematically champion), but not impossible. “We know that the goal is not simple, but approach this weekend as usual – says the British born in 1988 -. Trying to win a championship means being consistent over a long journey. Unfortunately this year I lost points on several occasions, I am thinking for example of Greece where I did not have a great feeling with the car, or of Kenya which in terms of classification cost us a lot (Evans finished the two rounds respectively sixth and tenth, Ed). Seb is the favorite, we will try to do our best ”.
HYUNDAI: THE COMMENT OF NEUVILLE
With a gap of 45 points from the leader, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupé) is out of the game for the drivers ‘title, but his contribution could fuel the chances of victory (small) in the constructors’ one for the South Korean manufacturer. “Too bad because in the last part of the season we did well – says the Belgian, who won the eleventh round in Spain – I’m not very happy, I admit, I would have liked to be more in control of the situation in some races, we did several podiums, but we have not capitalized enough for example in Portugal, Kenya and Greece when we could be in front. Here in Monza I think about doing my best for the team ”. Meanwhile Neuville, born in 1988, looks to the near future that will rhyme with the hybrid cars of the new Rally1 class (already subject to some tests): what will they be like? “The new cars are interesting, we still don’t have any feedback on the absolute speed compared to the current ones, but they will undoubtedly entertain the public. As for the extra boost given by the electric motor, the power is great, it looks like a ‘dragster’ on this point, but the feeling is not yet the same as I have with the Wrc Plus, for example when cornering ”.
November 18 – 10:55
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Rally Monza 2021, Ogier: “Toyota, I want the last title with the Wrc Plus”