Sunday | 21 Nov 2021

Huttunen takes WRC2 spoils on M-Sport Ford debut

Jari Huttunen sealed a superb WRC2 victory at FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza on his first rally with British squad M-Sport Ford.

The Finn started the rally cautiously as he got to grips with his new Fiesta Rally2 machine. He ended the opening day second, but moved into the top spot early on Saturday morning when early leader Marco Bulacia crashed his Toksport Škoda Fabia Rally2.. 

Heading into the final day, Huttunen held a hefty 1min 01.6sec lead over his nearest challenger Andreas Mikkelsen, who tumbled down the order after a wheel change on Friday. 

Mikkelsen clawed back time over the final three tests at Monza’s Temple of Speed circuit, but Huttunen measured his pace accordingly to bring home the win with 47.0sec in hand over his Toksport rival. The result also marked M-Sport Ford’s first victory of the year. 

Nikolay Gryazin's performance handed the teams' title to Movisport

"The feeling is good,” said Huttunen. “Of course, if you look at the stage times we are not where we want to be. We still have a lot of work to do. 

“I don't know what I will be doing next year, but hopefully I will be driving something," he added.

Enrico Brazzoli was third in another Škoda. Although the 56-year-old Italian driver trailed Mikkelsen by 13min 13.8sec, his podium played a significant part in helping Movisport seal the WRC2 teams’ championship. Bulacia completed the leaderboard after restarting on Sunday. 

Andreas Mikkelsen finished the season with a second placing

Brazzoli’s Fabia team-mate Nikolay Gryazin was fastest in the category but ineligible for drivers’ championship points. He was still able to score points for Movisport, who eventually took the honours by 11 points from Toksport. 

Georg Linnamäe was also ineligible for drivers’ championship scores and only counted points for co-driver James Morgan. The pair set some respectable stage times and would have finished fourth in their Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. 

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