WRC Rally Monza halted after heavy crashes

Rally Monza’s first stage of the afternoon, the second pass through Selvino, has been abandoned following two significant accidents on the same corner.

Both the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC of Gus Greensmith/Elliott Edmondson and the Hyundai i20 WRC of Ole Christian Veiby/Jonas Andersson came to grief on the same bend 22 km into the 25 km stage.

Increasing snowfall since the morning loop had clearly made driving conditions considerably more treacherous.

Based on their earlier experience, the first cars into the stage had opted to run on wet weather tyres only, carrying snow tyres as spares. Greensmith arrived at the downhill right-hander with no traction, hitting the guardrail on the outside of the road, which threw his Fiesta into the rock face on the opposite side before rolling back into the woods below.

The Toyota of Takamoto Katsuta made it through the stage safely on wet tyres but then Veiby hit the same piece of guard rail that had collected Greensmith, tearing much of the front end off his car and leaving it broadside across the road.

All four crew members emerged safely from the wreckage.

One driver pleased with the interruption would be Hyundai’s Ott Tanak, currently in fourth place overall but dropping 30 seconds on the Selvino stage before it was red flagged.

Both of the main contenders for this year’s WRC drivers’ title, Frenchman Sebastien Ogier and Britain’s Elfyn Evans, were already in the stage when it was red flagged and will now have to wait until a path is cleared to get out.

The organisers have confirmed that the stage will not restart and that the rally will continue with SS11, the second pass through the 11 km Gerosa stage, after a 10 minute delay. 

Morning loop: Ogier leads Sordo and Evans

Ogier won the first stage of the day by 8.3 seconds to go past Hyundai’s overnight leader Dani Sordo. The Spaniard closed the gap by winning the second stage of the morning, but dropped back on the third, which was won by Toyota’s current drivers’ championship leader, Elfyn Evans.

Following the retirement of Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville during Friday’s stages around the historic Monza circuit, the drivers’ title is effectively a race between the Toyotas of Evans and Ogier. Neuville has not restarted the event and Evans must finish in fourth place or higher to take the title if Ogier wins the rally.

Only the defending WRC champion, Hyundai’s Ott Tanak, has a mathematical chance to beat the Toyota drivers. However, the Estonian needs to score maximum points and for Evans and Ogier to both retire and is focused on his team’s push for the manufacturers’ title.

The morning loop will be repeated by all classes through the afternoon before a final blast around Monza circuit this evening closes the final full day’s action.

shares
comments

Related video

Monza WRC: Sordo leads for Hyundai, disaster for Neuville
Previous article

Monza WRC: Sordo leads for Hyundai, disaster for Neuville

Next article

Evans' WRC title hopes in jeopardy after crash in Monza Rally

Evans' WRC title hopes in jeopardy after crash in Monza Rally
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Prime

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport.

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Kalle Rovanpera tamed a wild WRC Safari Rally in Kenya Prime

How Kalle Rovanpera tamed a wild WRC Safari Rally in Kenya

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Prime

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Prime

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Prime

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Prime

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Prime

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Motorsport.com donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the life of a rally mechanic.

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Prime

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022