Monza rally: Sébastien Ogier, stunning in Italy, wins and wins 7th WRC title

Stunningly, Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) won his 49th World Rally Championship victory in Monza, Italy, securing his seventh WRC title. However, before this seventh and final round of the season, the task seemed almost impossible, Elfyn Evans (Toyota) being 14 points ahead of the overall standings. But, sure of his strength on difficult and snowy roads, the Frenchman held on before pushing his Welsh rival to fault.

He did it ! And then, in what way … Before this 7th and already last rally of the World Championship, in Monza in Italy, Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) was clearly badly on board to steal from his teammate Elfyn evans, leader of the WRC with 14 points in advance, a title which had seemed to elude him since the rally in Turkey, in mid-September, where he had abandoned due to mechanical failure. But it was without counting on the self-sacrifice and the experience of the Frenchman, as never before on and around the famous F1 circuit to go to win a seventh world crown.

The native of Gap has indeed put constant pressure on his British rival, especially during the day Saturday which took place partly in the mountains, and on often snow-covered roads. A strategy that was clearly paying off for the Hautes-Alpes rider, very comfortable in these conditions, since Evans finally cracked when he left the road during the 11th special and at the same time jeopardized almost all his chances of winning. global. This Sunday, Sébastien Ogier had only to finish the job. And at 36, the man now has 49 victories (2nd best driver in WRC history behind Loeb at 79, editor’s note) did not fail. Quite the contrary.

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Rally Monza: Evans at fault, Ogier approaches the title

From the shadow to the light

The Frenchman, always accompanied by his co-driver Julien Ingrassia, further increased his lead during the three specials of the day to finally win quietly in front Ott Tänak (Hyundai, +13.9) and Dani Sordo (Hyundai, +15.3), also completing the Power Stage and final special in 7th position. A success as stunning as it is historic since the Frenchman, who will celebrate his 37th birthday on December 17th, is definitely establishing himself as the greatest rally driver behind his compatriot and former rival. Sebastien loeb (9 titles in WRC, editor’s note). However, the younger of the two Sébastien, crowned on the occasion of the last rally of the season for the second time in his career after 2018 in Australia, is no longer in the shadow of his elder.

If he still has a little bit of road ahead to claim the same status as Loeb, Sébastien Ogier has built up an almost equally astounding track record, now making him a true rally legend. Far ahead of the other big names in the discipline that can be Tommi Mäkinen (4 titles, 24 victories), Carlos Sainz (2 titles, 26 victories) or Colin McRae (2 titles, 25 victories), he became the second WRC driver to be crowned with three different manufacturers (Volkswagen, M-Sport and Toyota) after the illustrated Juha kankkunen (Peugeot, Lancia and Toyota). While Sébastien Ogier had first announced that he wanted to end this season, he will indeed be in the game next year, the health crisis having pushed him to review his position. The opportunity for him to get closer, ever closer, to the nine coronations of Sébastien Loeb. Before joining him, one day perhaps, at the top of the pantheon?

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