Ogier fastest before Monza Rally SS4 is stopped

A spectator problem led to red flags being waved after just five cars went through the stage


Sébastien Ogier has won a third Monza Rally stage from four to maintain his lead over Elfyn Evans as they dispute the World Rally Championship title.

Ogier has the upper hand in the championship race as well as on the stages of the season finale, heading Evans by 17 points and leading the rally by 6.5 seconds.

Evans has got the better of Ogier just once so far this weekend – on the first pass of Costa Valle Imagan where he was 0.1s faster.

But on the repeat pass Evans ceded 0.9s and confessed things were “not bad but obviously not quite where we want to be”.

Ogier’s stage wasn’t flawless however as he escaped from a two-wheel moment after he kissed the apex of a hairpin and clipped the inside verge.


“It was not really a moment, but not something you expect on asphalt,” Ogier said. “I’m happy because it was the target at the start of the rally, to try and enjoy, and so far it’s working.”

Thierry Neuville isn’t having as enjoyable a time. Although he is the best of the rest behind the two fighting Toyotas, he’s almost 30s adrift of the lead after just four stages and unsure why he’s dropping so much time.

“Again I gave it everything,” the Hyundai driver said. “To be honest everything feels good, so I don’t know where we lose time. If I could gain one second in my time that would have been with a lot of risks, so I did everything.”

Only five cars managed to complete SS4 however before it was interrupted and then canceled as a spectator required medical attention.

The remaining cars passed through the stage at road speed.


Of the remaining two Toyotas, Takamoto Katsuta was 14s off Ogier’s stage-winning pace but 17.7s faster than Kalle Rovanperä who is driving carefully on Friday.

The rally now heads from Bergamo back to the Monza circuit for three track stages in the afternoon.

SS4 times

1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota) 12m48.0s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota) +0.9s
3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai) +6.5s
4 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota) +14.0s
5 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Haltunnen (Toyota) +31.7s

Leading positions after SS4

1 Ogier/Ingrassia 39m05.2s
2 Evans/Martin +6.5s
3 Neuville/Wydaeghe +27.2s
4 Katsuta/Johnston +1m04.3s
5 Rovanperä/Haltunnen +1m44.0s
6 Dani Sordo/Candido Carrera (Hyundai) +7m06.5s