WRC Monza

ACI Rally Monza guarantees that you stare until the last minute!

What do the WRC and Formula 1 have in common? What unites these championships? Both are approaching the culmination of the 2021 season. Formula 1 reaches the last three races in the East, while the World Rally Championship arrives in the home of world motor racing – Italy. Here at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, all Formula 1 traditions take on the traits of a rather unique event – the Rally di Monza. There are reasons not to miss the WRC Monza 2021, even if you are not a racing fan. Take the guide to five storylines that will make you wonder what the Monza Rally promises.

Rally Monza could make Toyota the Word Champion and give Jari-Matti Latvala his first victory as team principal.

Incredibly, just two years ago Jari-Matti Latvala was the active Toyota Gazoo Racing rally driver with no clear perspective on the WRC 2020 season. The announcement of the WRC drivers left Jari-Matti at the door. Struggling to find a seat with Toyota, the failure of an agreement with M-Sport Ford forced him to withdraw. But as Lewis Hamilton says: “still rise, never give up,” Latvala seems to have followed the rule..

Jari-Matti’s competitive spirit was fuelled a year ago by a handful of outings in his historic Toyota Celica GT-4 in his native Finland. Less than 10 months ago, rally fans saw the new, updated Jari-Matti Latvala. He headed Toyota Gazoo Racing as team principal. Restrained, taciturn, Latvala came into the team with a clear awareness that he was on the right way, no matter what anyone said in his direction.

Jari-Matti Latvala before Rally Monza 2021
Jari-Matti Latvala

It would be the perfect way for us to finish the World Rally Car era and the last race for our Yaris WRC that debuted in 2017, when I was one of the drivers.

Jari-Matti Latvala to WRC official

Could he imagine, then, that he is now on the cusp of leading Toyota Gazoo Racing to a clean victory in the FIA World Rally Championship at the 2021 Monza Rally? Could he then imagine fighting in the distant year of 2020 with such experienced team bosses as Andrea Adamo Hyundai or Malcolm Wilson M-Sport?

Probably not, but this WRC Monza promises a small miracle, because Toyota Gazoo Racing has the power to win the world championship, which would be the perfect end to the WRC season 2021 for Japanese manufacture.

Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia
Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia

Rally Monza can make Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia eight times world champions in their last adventure together!

The story of these two started sixteen years ago when Julien Ingrassia decided to put everything on the map and find the best teammate of all time. Hi did it – founded younger talented Peugeot Sport driver – Sebastien Ogier in 2005. Since then they have never separated. No matter what: neither the financial issues nor the rally team policy, both Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have great respect for each other.

In the twelve years of their WRC career, the crew won seven world titles, they have passed water and fire together. Happiness, victories, failures with disasters, these were shared by the team-mates. Few months ago Sebastien Ogier announced his plans for the future. These plans do not only include rallying races. Ogier wants to reach new heights as a Le Mans driver and gain new experience in management and the development of motorsport. Frenchman will join Toyota Gazoo Racing as a part-time driver.

Julien, too, wants to develop himself and does not want to wait for calls. The 16-year partnership ends at the 2021 Monza Rally. Only a victory on the biggest Autodromo Nazionale Monza could be the best point in the history of Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia.

Elfyn Evans Toyota Gazoo Racing content pool
Elfyn Evans Toyota Gazoo Racing content pool

Elfyn Evans can make you change the predictions

Sounds like a fairy tale to racing fanatics, but every rally driver in the FIA World Rally Championship has his own unique story that deserves a good book. It seems clear who can keep up with seven-time world rally champion Sebastien Ogier. Elfyn Evans has his own path to success. Elfyn joined Toyota Gazoo Racing in 2020 – the big surprise for both him and rally fans.

Then, his future as a foggy Albion because it was clear that the talented M-Sport driver would be without a seat after 2019. But something went right and Elfyn Evans joined Toyota. Modestly calm, Evans is a completely opposite character to Sebastien Ogier, but with the same great desire. Could he imagine that a year ago his goal would be to win the world title for the first time ever? Absolutely not, because the FIA WRC drivers are constantly lining up with new talented drivers.

WRC standings
WRC standings

Rally Monza gives new hope to Teemu Suninen

Teemu Suninen before Rally Monza 2021
Teemu Suninen

I am very, very happy to be in this car in Monza, so I will do what they want me to do. If they want me to drive to be pushing and making a challenge to the top cars then I will try to do that, try to challenge for the higher positions. Or if they want me to come to the finish as the third Hyundai to be there in case they are needing the points, then I can do this also.

Teemu Suninen to WRC official

Coincidence or not, Teemu Suninen is lucky enough to make his debut as a Hyundai Motorsport driver at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Just a few weeks ago, reigning World Rally Champion 2020 Ott Tanak announced that he will miss the Italian Rally for family reasons. Hyundai Motorsport decided to give the M-Sport driver a chance, whose plans for WRC 2022 appear to be a return to the rally dream.

There is no way around a dream and Teemu Suninen is already smiling, because he knows what to do on his first-class Hyundai Motorsport debut. As a minimum plan to finish in the top five, as a maximum – to win the FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza, because his future may just be decided.

Rally Monza 2020
ACI Rally Monza 2020

The last stage before the new WRC hybrid era at the unforgettable F1 Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Next year, the WRC cars will be very different, so the challenge at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza will be the last time we will be staring at the old version. A new hybrid era will make us see the updated Rally1 cars. Today, we can already watch YouTube videos of the tests. Race fans and spectators will notice the new sound of the WRC cars. So it will be more interesting to see who will win the WRC Manufacturers’ Championship: Toyota Gazoo Racing, which wants to defend the honor and regain the title, or Hyundai Motorsport, which has led the championship for two years in a row.

The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is more than just a Formula 1 race track. Colors change, especially in late autumn. While the FIA World Rally Championship is heading for the Formula 1 circuit, the track will be a difficult challenge. The race will include rain and fog in the morning. On Friday and Saturday, the ice will be stirred up at higher altitudes. Road conditions in the mountains deteriorate with each car. Mud and leaves are pulled onto the surface as drivers cut corners to save vital tenths. The Grand Prix on Friday and the final Sochi tests on Saturday will make drivers nervous in the dark.

ACI Rally Monza 2021 Schedule

FRIDAY 19th NOVEMBERSATURDAY 20th NOVEMBERSUNDAY 21th NOVEMBER
07:15 – GOOD MORNING RALLY FANS05:45 GOOD MORNING RALLY FANS07:15 GOOD MORNING RALLY FANS 
07:31 SS1 GEROSA 107:30 SS8 SAN FERMO 107:48 SS14 GRAND PRIX 2  
08:16 SS2 COSTA VALLE IMAGNA 108:33 SS9 SELVINO 110:00 SS15 SERRAGLIO 1
10:20 SS3 GEROSA 211:00 SS10 SAN FERMO 212:00 SS16 SERRAGLIO – WOLF POWER STAGE 
11:00 SS4 COSTA VALLE IMAGNA 212:03 SS11 SELVINO 213:30 STUDIO MONZA – WRAP UP SHOW
 
13:45 SS5 CINTURATO 115:09 SS12 SOTTOZERO 1
15:55 SS6 CINTURATO 217:19 SS13 SOTTOZERO 2
 
18:27 SS7 GRAND PRIX 1
*Note the theme may change, here is the local time UTC +1

Toyota leads with 47 points ahead of Hyundai Motorsport. Everything will decide whether Ogier, Evans or Kalle Rovanpera will finish in the top seven.