Thierry Neuville / Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Couple WRC) won the Rally Catalunya 2021 penultimate round of this year's championship. This is only the second victory for Neuville this year after its rather poor performance this year and two relegations this season.
Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott (Toyota Yaris WRC) finished second in 24.1 seconds.
Third in their home race are Dani Sordo / C. Carrera (Hyundai i20 Couple WRC) +35.3, who again could not reach the first place, but still managed to win the power stage.
Another precise step towards winning the crew title of Sebastien Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) with his fourth place in 42.1 seconds after the winners. Ogier's main rival, Evans, still managed to shorten its lead to 17 points before the last round in Italy of the Monza Rally.
In Rally Catalunya, Katsuta T. / Johnston Aaron (Toyota Yaris WRC) were eliminated in the first gear after leaving the track due to an error in the notes.
From the very beginning, the column was led by Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott (Toyota Yaris WRC) ambitious to fight not only for the race, but also for the championship title.
In the fourth gear, Ott Tanak / M. Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 Couple WRC) left the fight after a crash. Up to this stage Evans held the first place, but in the fifth gear stage Neuville took the lead. Neuville held the first place from the fifth stage to the final, gradually accumulating a small lead.
Camilli Eric / Vilmot Maxime (Citroën C3 Rally2) finished first in the Rally2 category.
For the last round only Elfyn Evans has a chance to fight for the title against Sebastien Ogier, who confidently leads with a comfortable lead of 17 points.
The rally, which is a symbol of the World Rally Championship with its incredible jumps, started with a super special stage, which was won by Katsuta T. / Johnston Aaron
(Toyota Yaris WRC). The next stage, now over 12 km long, was led by Tänak Ott / Järveoja M. (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) after Katsuta turned and lost 20 seconds.
Tanak continued to lead all day until the final sixth stage, where he gave the lead to Breen Craig / Nagle Paul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) with a minimum lead of 2.8 seconds. Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott (Toyota Yaris WRC) finished third in 6.1 seconds.
Traditionally for this season, the last seats in the RC1 are for Ford crews.
First in a day in RC2 are Suninen Teemu / Markkula Mikko (Volkswagen Polo Gti R5).
9 speed stages were scheduled for Saturday at Rally Finland 2021.
Elfyn Evans in stage number 8 Päijälä 1 (22.61 km) managed to take the lead from Craig Breen, as Katsuta T. / Johnston Aaron (Toyota Yaris WRC) crashed. The big losers in the tenth stage were Rovanperä Kalle / Halttunen Jonne, who moved fourth but left the race after a crash in a pile of gravel after the car served them and Rovanperä failed to control it.
Neuville Thierry / Wydaeghe Martijn left the race after CE14, as the most probable reason for stopping in the middle of the section was a technical problem with the engine.
Leading after Saturday are Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott (Toyota Yaris WRC), followed by Ott / Järveoja M. (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) at 9.1 seconds and third are Breen Craig / Nagle Paul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) at +19.5 seconds. .
First in RC2 are Suninen Teemu / Markkula Mikko (Volkswagen Polo Gti R5), followed only by Østberg Mads / Eriksen T. (Citroën C3 Rally2).
Only 7 WRC cars continue on Sunday with the last 4 stages of Rally Finland 2021.
The Monte Carlo Rally 2022 will be centered on Monte Carlo, not Gap as usual. In addition, no lunch service will be available on the first day (Friday) of the rally.
Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo labeling the itinerary for the 2022 event “one of the most stupid things I’ve seen in my life”.
The initial plan makes no provision for a lunchtime service, only a remote tire zone in Puget-Théniers.
With the onset of the biggest change in technical regulations in the history of the World Rally Championship, the teams are concerned by the potential for early reliability issues forcing the all-new Rally1 cars out on the opening day of the event.
Andrea Adamo said:
“This is a big problem. It means there is first of all a problem of communication between the partners and this is not a good way to start a new era. I hope they make a change to the race format because, like this, it is very stupid.”
M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson was on the same page as his Hyundai counterpart.
Malcolm Wilson talk about: “To leave Monte on Friday morning and then have no lunchtime service – it’s difficult enough in the current car, but with all of the teams launching a brand-new car and that coupled with the real challenges Monte can throw at you…
“Getting the right mapping, the right tires, it will be so difficult. If it’s nice and dry it can be simple, but we all know what Monte can be like.
“It could be one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in many years.”
January’s Monte offers a route 95% new from 2021 and starts from Casino Square, Monaco at 6.45pm on Thursday January 20. Two stages that night, Lucéram-Lantosque and La Bollène-Vésubie-Moulinet mean the Col de Turini moves from the final day to the opening loop.
The Friday in question includes the Roure-Beuil, Pierlas-Ilonse and La Tour-sur-Tinée-Utelle stages run twice.
Saturday’s action – which also offers no central midday service in Monaco – moves to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence for Le Fugeret-Thorame-Haute then a new stage Saint-Jeannet-Malijai and Saint-Geniez-Thoard. This loop is split by a tire zone in Digne-les-Bains.
Sunday’s final day includes the La Penne-Collongues test and Briançonnet-Val-de-Chalvagne-Entrevaux stage, which runs through Col du Buis and Val-de-Chalvagne.
The finish is back in Monaco at 2pm.
Recall that in 2022 started with many different cars compared to previous seasons. For the first time, cars of the highest class in rally sports will include electric motors, and are actually the first hybrid racing rally cars. All this may require much more serious service work, such as the first race with such cars.