Relying on the way you have a look at it, a maiden world title moved both nearer or additional away for the Welshman over the weekend, following the announcement of the addition of Monza to the calendar from 04-06 December. Taking over the unenviable job of being the primary on the roads in Sardinia, the Toyota Gazoo Racing man produced one other measured efficiency, avoiding any points to complete one spot off the rostrum, with 12 factors and one other two from the Wolf Energy Stage. It was sufficient for now, to keep up his place atop the drivers’ championship.
For a second consecutive rally, Neuville ended one spot shy of the highest spot on the rostrum, overtaking Sébastien Ogier on the ultimate stage. With a maiden WRC journey to his residence Tarmac roads nonetheless ready for him and a visit to Monza (additionally Tarmac) to complete off the yr, Neuville needs to be feeling quietly assured. The earlier two occasions the WRC ventured onto Tarmac – Rallye Monte-Carlo and final yr’s mixed-surface rally in Spain – it was the Belgian standing atop the rostrum.
Sardinia was an extremely irritating weekend for the reigning world champion, who was fully off the tempo by way of Friday morning’s opening loop, however was not giving an excessive amount of away as to why. Some comfort for the Estonian was his consistency over the rest of the weekend, which included gaining most factors on the Wolf Energy Stage – one thing that retains him inside a combating likelihood of defending his title.
Dani Sordo kinds a part of a welcoming headache for Hyundai Motorsport workforce boss Andrea Adamo. Successfully sharing a seat this season with Sébastien Loeb and Craig Breen, the Spaniard did all the things Hyundai might have presumably requested of him in Italy, repeating his victory there from a season earlier. It begs the query of what Sordo would possibly have the ability to obtain, if he had been to conform to a full-time drive within the WRC.
Regardless of affirmation following Rally Turkey that, for now at the very least, we is not going to be seeing Loeb again within the WRC this season, the Frenchman nonetheless holds onto fifth place within the rankings, confirming what the now 46-year-old can nonetheless supply to any workforce providing him a contract, ought to he agree to just accept it, going ahead.
Beginning second on the highway, it was clearly a pissed off Ogier that was on show all through the weekend, a temper that was probably not helped after being pipped from second to 3rd on the rostrum, on the weekend’s last stage. Following on from a Sunday morning exit in Turkey, the six-time world champion can take solace within the reality he’s nonetheless holding second spot within the drivers’ championship, regardless of his present frustrations.
The promising younger Toyota Gazoo Racing driver confirmed that that is nonetheless a season for growth. After crashing his automotive following the flying end line on his first shakedown run, a high-speed accident on Saturday then ended his weekend for good. Nonetheless mathematically in with an opportunity of profitable the championship, it appears unlikely to occur this yr, with each his team-mates (Evans and Ogier) forward of him within the standings. Regardless, Ypres and Monza will give Rovanperä invaluable Tarmac expertise. Up to now, his solely Tarmac occasion within the Yaris was in Monte-Carlo.
On his two earlier call-ups this season, Breen has completed within the factors each occasions out for Hyundai, a file he might be hoping to keep up when the WRC strikes to Ypres, a spot the place the Irishman has a confirmed file. Final yr, earlier than Ypres joined the WRC, Breen gained it in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.
“F**ok I was sending it.” Certainly, Teemu was, when he uttered this to the WRC+ All Stay TV end-of-stage reporter on the completion of SS1 on Friday. The M-Sport Ford man would proceed to push the tempo all through Friday, sitting in second behind eventual winner Sordo when the day got here to an finish. Nevertheless, handbrake points on Saturday would price the Finn, who noticed his standing slowly slip. He nonetheless managed a commendable fifth, exhibiting that when all the things goes his approach, Suninen behind the wheel of a Fiesta is a drive to not be taken flippantly.
If this was an influence rating for the unluckiest man within the WRC this season, Lappi can be sitting atop the standings with little competitors. To start with, there was the hearth in Mexico. When he stepped again into the cockpit throughout an area rally in Finland, the weekend was over earlier than it began, after the automotive faltered in pre-testing. Mid-table finishes in Estonia and Turkey, as he constructed time again up behind the wheel urged his fortunes had been turning. However that every one got here crashing down on SS2, when he was pressured to drag over with a technical subject, spelling an finish to his Sardinian week.
Following what might be thought of a breakthrough occasion for Greensmith in Turkey when he recorded his first-ever top-five end, the younger Brit seemed to be constructing properly on that end in Sardinia. On the midway level on Saturday, Greensmith was tucked into sixth place, with present world champion Tänak behind him. However a technical subject on his method to SS10 pressured him into early retirement. With a lower than memorable Tarmac debut within the Fiesta again in January, Greensmith will intention to make amends in Ypres and Monza.
HOW IT WORKS
Leaving out emotional elements, the WRC Energy Rankings are primarily based on the 2020 lively drivers’ earlier three WRC outcomes driving in a WRC automotive. For instance, Sébastien Loeb’s common takes into consideration his efficiency at RallyRACC Catalunya in October, 2019.
Wolf Energy Stage factors are additionally factored into the equation.