RallyRACC 2021: Neuville and Hyundai win for the second time in a row
Salou, October 17, 2021 - The eleventh and penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship ended today, Sunday, on the podium at Passeig Jaume I in Salou with the second consecutive victory for Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), following the win the driver and the brand secured in the last edition held in 2019. The Belgian team dominated the race from the first day of competition, taking the lead from the fifth stage onwards and maintaining the position until the seventeenth stage, that finished the competition. The event organised by the RACC has been a great success in all aspects.
The third and final stage was contested this morning with two runs through the Santa Marina (9.10 km) and Riudecanyes (16.35 km) sections, the second of which was the Power Stage that awarded additional points to the top five finishers. With the first two positions consolidated by Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans, respectively as first and second, the interest was focused on the progression of Dani Sordo-Cándido Carrera (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), who were the fastest in all of today's stages, pushing Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) away from third place, a position they had held for the two previous days. The Spanish duo won the Power Stage ahead of the first two, Neuville and Evans.
In addition, the Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe team and their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC have secured in Salou their second victory of the season after the one they got at the Ypres Rally in their home country, Belgium. Elfyn Evans-Scott Martin's (Toyota Yaris WRC) second place allows them to keep their options to the title, which will be decided in the last round of the season, while Dani Sordo-Cándido Carrera (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) have been the real protagonists of this last day by winning all stages and taking the second podium of the year for the Cantabrian driver -the other one was in Portugal-, and the first for his co-driver, Galician Cándido Carrera.
Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) had to settle for the fourth place, although they still have enough margin to try and secure their eighth World Championship title in Monza next November. Kalle Rovanperä-Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) finished in fifth place with the Spanish duo Nil Solans-Marc Martí in eighth position in their debut with a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.
Eric Camilli-Maxime Vilmot (Citroën C3 Rally2) won in WRC2, category in which Andreas Mikkelsen has already secured the championship, while over at WRC3 victory was for Reeta Hämäläinen-Emil Lindholm (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo). In that category, Pepe López-Borja Rozada (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) could not be at the start this morning after detecting an engine issue when they were third after keeping the second place for nearly the whole race. Finally, Sami Pajari-Marko Salminen's (Ford Fiesta Rally4) win, their second this year, allowed them to take the JWRC title and the Finnish driver has become the youngest champion and the first from his country in the twenty years of this category's history, as the Spanish round was the last of the calendar.
The FIA World Rally Championship will end with the ACI Rally Monza in Italy, which will take place from November 18 to 21 and will decide the Drivers' title, between Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans. As well as the titles of the Co-drivers', between Julien Ingrassia and Scott Martin, and Constructor's championships, the latter to be decided between Toyota y Hyundai. It will also decide the result of the WRC3 category between Yohan Rossel and Kajetan Kajetanowicz.
Final classification RallyRACC
1-Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), 2h34'11.8
2-Elfyn Evans-Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC), +24.1
3-Dani Sordo-Cándido Carrera (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), +35.3
4-Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC), +42.1
5-Kalle Rovanperä-Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC), +1'31.8
6-Gus Greensmith-Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta WRC), +4'17.3
7-Oliver Solberg-Craig Drew (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), +4'26.7
8-Nil Solans-Marc Martí (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), +4'34.9
9-Eric Camilli-Maxime Vilmot (Citroën C3 Rally2, 1st WRC2), +9'49.4
10-Nikolay Gryazin-Konstantin Aleksandrov (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo), +10'05.9
11-Teemu Suninen-Mikko Markkula (Hyundai i20 N Rally2), +10'09.6
12-Reeta Hämäläinen-Emil Lindholm (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo, 1st WRC3), +10'20.1