The Costa Valle Imagna stage has been canceled on Saturday afternoon of the Monza Rally on safety grounds.
Camera shots of the stage revealed the extent of the snow that had begun to lie on the ground, with the road completely white and significant banks forming either side of it.
Snowy conditions had been predicted for the day’s stages in the mountains near Bergamo but the morning pass was relatively free of it, with just the odd slushy patches lurking on the higher ground.
And indeed as the crews left service for the repeat passes in the afternoon, the majority of drivers took four wet compounds and two snow tires with them in their cars; evidently not expecting adverse conditions.
However the snow began to fall as the drivers headed into the mountains and both Gus Greensmith and Ole Christian Veiby crashed out heavily on SS10, Selvino. The stage was subsequently canceled.
World Rally Championship points leader Elfyn Evans was the next to fall on the succeeding Gerosa stage, losing the rear and sliding down a ditch and into retirement.
The stage was completed by the rest of the crews however, and Evans’ Toyota team-mate and main title rival Sébastien Ogier won the test by 6.6 seconds over Hyundai’s Ott Tänak to establish a 20.4s advantage over second-placed Dani Sordo.
Crews are now on their way back to Monza for the last stage of the day – Grand Prix – which is back within the confines of the circuit.