Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans both head to Rally Spain this week with a shot at the 2021 World Rally Championship title, but only Ogier can emerge as champion come Sunday.
Spain is the penultimate round of the season with the Monza Rally still to follow, and Ogier currently holds a 24-point advantage over his Toyota team-mate in the standings.
The crucial number though is 30, as that’s the points advantage Ogier needs to hold after Rally Spain to seal his eighth world title a round early given any tiebreak would be won by Ogier. That means if Ogier outscores Evans by six points, the championship will be his.
Evans can actually leave Spain ahead of Ogier if he repeats the maximum points haul he recorded in Finland – a rally and powerstage win – but he can’t take the title in Spain as the best possible scenario he could have would be a six-point lead going into Rally Monza.
Ogier meanwhile can guarantee it for himself – regardless of what Evans does – if he wins both the rally and the powerstage, as even if Evans were to finish second on both he would be scoring eight fewer points.
Every other scenario comes with the caveat of what Evans scores, but if Evans doesn’t score, the minimum Ogier can do to take the title this weekend is score six points.
That could mean finishing 10th and winning the powerstage, finishing ninth overall and second on the powerstage, eighth overall and fourth on the powerstage, or just seventh overall.
The powerstage will likely play a major role as it rewards five points and the margin Ogier needs to seal the deal of course six. So if Ogier and Evans are close on the leaderboard, the powerstage result could swing it.
But if Ogier does win the rally, Evans has to be at least third overall, win the powerstage and hope Ogier doesn’t net any bonus points to stay in the contest, or claim second and outscore Ogier by at least two points on the powerstage.
If Ogier is second overall, Evans can’t finish any lower than sixth overall and would need a powerstage win to supplement that.
But if Ogier is second and wins the powerstage, Evans would have to be at least third and score second on the powerstage.
In truth there are a whole host of potential scenarios that could play out in Rally Spain, and DirtFish is the place to stay abreast of every twist and turn of the event and the evolving championship situation.
Toyota wins both titles if Ogier [X] …and Evans is [X]
Wins rally + wins powerstage [PS] 10th or higher
Wins rally + 2nd in PS 9th+5th in PS or higher
Win+3rd in PS 2nd+2nd in PS Win+4th in PS 2nd+3rd in PS
Win+5th in PS 2nd+4th in PS Win 2nd+5th in PS, 3rd+2nd in PS
2nd+PS win 3rd+4th in PS 2nd+2nd in PS 3rd+5th in PS