Today the last date of the World Rally Championship started with Sébastian Ogier faster than Thierry Neuville
The Frenchman, who aspires to a seventh crown in the FIA World Rally Championship, has been the fastest in the difficult and technical Sottozero The Monza Legacy of 4.33 km with his Toyota Yaris by 0.5 seconds of Thierry Neuville.
The four drivers fighting for the title occupied the top four places. Reigning champion Ott Tänak was 1.5sec. his Hyundai i20 teammate, Neuville, and championship favorite Elfyn Evans was fourth at 0.7sec. with another Yaris.
A mixture of fast and smooth asphalt on the circuit itself and narrow and twisty tracks on the inside made this a stretch of contrasts. The morning fog had lifted but conditions were still slippery with temperatures just 3 ° C.
Ogier, who starts 14 points behind Evans, has a simple master plan. “I need to win so I have to give it my all. Conditions will continue to play an important role, so we have to be good,” he said.
After this morning’s shakedown, Evans was out of luck again. The Welshman nearly missed a junction after slipping into a chicane and admitted: “I was a bit careful and we’re going to have to go faster than that over the weekend.” It was key to pass this. “
Kalle Rovanperä’s third Yaris and Esapekka Lappi’s Ford Fiesta completed the top six, although Finn Lappi nearly missed a braking at the last corner. Dani Sordo, Gus Greensmith, WRC 3 leader Jari Huttunen and Teemu Suninen rounded out the top 10.
It was a disastrous start for Takamoto Katsuta who went around a corner and, while trying to get back into the stage, crashed into a wall just 2.3 km after the start. The impact damaged the steering of his Toyota Yaris and the Japanese driver went no further.