Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
45 days
MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
22 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
29 days
Formula E
R
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
37 days
NASCAR Cup
28 Feb
Event finished
R
Las Vegas
07 Mar
Race in
3 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
43 days
23 Apr
Next event in
50 days
WEC
04 Apr
Race in
31 days
R
Spa-Francorchamps
01 May
Race in
58 days
Supercars
27 Feb
Event finished
R
Sandown
18 Mar
Next event in
14 days

Monza WRC: Ogier leads first stage from Neuville

Sebastian Ogier opened the World Rally Championship's Rally Monza on top of the leaderboard, with the Toyota driver closing out the first stage half a second ahead of Thierry Neuville.

The WRC's final event of 2020 is underway after an initial 4.3km blast round the Villa Reale at Monza, with six-time champion Ogier taking his Toyota Yaris to an early lead over Hyundai's Neuville.

Both Ogier and Neuville have a mountain to climb if they are to overhaul Toyota's championship leader Elfyn Evans to claim this year's WRC drivers' title, but the Welshman gave himself a couple of scares throughout the day.

A spin on the morning shakedown knocked his exhaust out of alignment, then he survived a narrow escape turning into the infield section on his first timed run, putting him 2.7 seconds off the pace in fourth place.

Whoever wins the rally, Evans needs only to maintain fourth place to take the title while Ogier, Neuville and third-fastest driver Ott Tanak require anything from good luck to a miracle in order to keep their title hopes alive.

The only incident of the day befell the third Toyota of Takamoto Katsuta, who arrived at a grassy hairpin and could do nothing to stop the front of his car from clouting the retaining wall to the Grand Prix circuit.

M-Sport's asphalt expert Adrien Fourmaux took the early lead in WRC2, just 0.1s clear of Mads Ostberg's Citroen with championship leader Pontus Tidemand's Skoda fourth, behind Czech veteran Jan Kopecky in the sister Fabia.

As is often the case, the WRC3 runners were faster than the WRC2s, with title contender Jari Huttunen's Hyundai fastest from WRC veteran Andreas Mikkelsen's Skoda, Oliver Solberg holding third in his Skoda.

Five more stages will be completed around the Monza circuit on Friday, utilising all of the access roads and the historic banking to give a day total of 59.61 competitive kilometres.

shares
comments

Related video

How the contenders stack up for WRC 2020's Monza endgame

Previous article

How the contenders stack up for WRC 2020's Monza endgame

Next article

World Rally Championship launches own channel on Motorsport.tv

World Rally Championship launches own channel on Motorsport.tv
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Monza
Author Nick Garton
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021
The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season Prime

The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season

The 2020 World Rally Championship bestrode all 12 months of the Gregorian calendar, and in terms of the competition it was a cracker. Moreover, it was an inspiration in dark days for the world and our industry.

WRC
Jan 1, 2021
The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb Prime

The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb

A series of close calls in his formative years threatened to leave rallying's top echelon tantalisingly out of reach for the man who would go on to claim nine WRC titles. In an exclusive interview, Sebastien Loeb recalls the key steps on his road to dominance.

WRC
Dec 11, 2020
Why the WRC's unorthodox Monza ending was a necessary one Prime

Why the WRC's unorthodox Monza ending was a necessary one

The Monza Rally was an unusual way to end an unusual WRC season, and while far from ideal, without it the series could have faced serious ramifications. To persuade stakeholders to commit to an uncertain future, Monza was an important showcase…

WRC
Dec 9, 2020