There’s a plethora of possible permutations but we try to make sense of who needs to do what at Monza’s race circuit and on the mountain roads above Bergamo. Fingers and calculators at the ready?
WRC Driver and Co-driver
It’s a straight fight between Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mates Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia and Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin.
The French duo bring a 17-point advantage to Italy with a maximum 30 still available – 25 for winning the rally and five for fastest time in the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage.
There are two simple facts.
If Ogier finishes the rally in either first, second or third overall, he seals an eighth crown. No ifs and no buts.
Evans must finish in the top three to stand any hope of claiming his first title. Even then, his chances would depend on Ogier’s result.
Then it gets complicated……
Ogier’s worst result to ensure the title is sixth place. That combined with a maximum five Power Stage bonus points would be sufficient, even if Evans were to win the rally and take four extra points.
If Ogier fails to score at all, first or second overall for Evans would send the trophy to Wales. If Evans finishes third, he must finish in the top three of the Power Stage to accumulate enough bonus points to overhaul his colleague.
And should both drivers finish the year level on points (we’re not sure anyone could stand that level of tension!), tie-break rules mean the crown would go to the driver with the most rally wins this season.
Ogier currently has four and Evans two, so the honours would go to France.
This one is a little easier……
Toyota Gazoo Racing leads Hyundai Motorsport by 47 points with a maximum 52 available this weekend. Five points for Toyota would be sufficient to wrest the crown away from the Korean manufacturer.
Put simply, a seventh place finish or better from one of Ogier, Evans or Kalle Rovanperä would be good enough.
(Thanks to Steve Jones for his invaluable input)
• Full coverage from FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.