This week will see the World Rally Championship (WRC) return to action as it contests the latest rally of its 2021 season.
Sebastien Ogier enters the fifth event of the year in the lead of the championship and has a two point advantage over nearest rival, and teammate, Elfyn Evans. Completing the top three in the standings is the Hyundai of Thierry Neuville.
Ogier finished third in Portugal while Evans would go on to win the event, the Hyundai of Dani Sordo completing the top three. The Power Stage in Portugal was won by Ott Tanak ahead of Neuville and Ogier, with Evans finishing down in fifth.
What initially started as a promising rally for the two main Hyundai’s of Neuville and Tanak in Portugal eventually finished with neither of them scoring any points from the main event. This after both encountered trouble at some point during the rally.
It means that Neuville is 20 points adrift of Evans, and therefore 22 behind Ogier, going into this week’s rally. Tanak meanwhile is 12 points behind Neuville in fourth and four ahead of fifth placed Kalle Rovanpera.
In the Championship for Manufacturers Toyota leads the way with a 37 point advantage over nearest rival Hyundai. M-Sport Ford continue to occupy third position in the championship and are 82 points behind Hyundai.
Rally Italia Sardegna was one of the rallies fortunate enough to take place last season. The 2020 edition of the event saw Sordo win for Hyundai ahead of Neuville with Ogier completing the top three, while Evans finished just behind in fourth.