Ogier keeping WRC title thoughts in check after “crazy” fight with Evans

Sebastien Ogier insists he isn’t beginning to think about lifting an eighth World Rally Championship title following a “crazy” Rally Monza fight with rival Elfyn Evans.

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The Frenchman holds a slender 0.5s lead over Toyota teammate Evans heading into the final day of the 2021 season after a relentless rally long battle.

Despite coming under severe pressure from Evans, Ogier remains firmly on the box seat to win the title in what will be an emotional finish to his full-time WRC career.

Ogier holds a 17 point lead over Evans, meaning he could drop to sixth position and still come away with the title. However, Evans is poised to pounce on any slip up that could turn the title in his favour.

Reflecting on day that saw the rally lead change five times between himself and his title rival teammate, Ogier admitted he’s never known a rally lead to fluctuate so much in his glittering career.

The 37-year-old is however maintaining that his focus is not on trying to win the rally but secure the title.

“It is crazy,” Ogier told Motorsport.com when asked about the battle with Evans. “I don’t really focus on this fight [for the lead] as it would be a mistake for me but I need to focus on my performance and reach the end and reach the title, that is the priority for the weekend.

“It is very funny that the gap has been so small all of the time and so many changes with the lead, so at least the fans will be enjoying it.

“It is a nice way to finish. I know too well that it is never finished before the end, so we need to be focused in the same way tomorrow.”

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

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

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Evans echoed Ogier’s thoughts on the closeness regarding the lead battle but is refusing to believe his rival is not thinking about trying to seal the championship with a fifth rally win of the season.

The 32-year-old is also looking forward to “nice fight” to decide the outcome of the 2021 season on Sunday.

“I’ve definitely not been in a battle where the lead has changed so much,” Evans said. “It seems as though he has a couple of blinding stages and then he has one. We keep coming back to the same place it seems. It's been a nice afternoon for us and it sets up a nice fight for us tomorrow.

“Let’s say, he is not cruising to win the championship the way he is driving," he added.

The pair will contest three more stages held in the confines of the Monza grand prix circuit on Sunday to conclude the season finale.

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