While Sébastien Ogier served an upset to win his seventh World Rally Championship at the season-ending Rally Monza, over in the manufacturers’ stakes, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT held off Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT to secure its second consecutive title.
Notably, the Germany-based Korean team managed the feat without the aid of lead driver Thierry Neuville, himself looking to break the duck and win the drivers’ championship after four straight runner-up finishes. The Belgian was in contention but clattered a chicane bollard in SS4 – damaging his right front suspension in the process – and then drowned the engine of his i20 Coupe WRC in a water crossing.
With Neuville out, Hyundai’s hopes fell onto last year’s champion Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo. Tänak needed Toyota drivers Ogier and Elfyn Evans to retire (Evans crashed out in SS11) and win both the rally and the Power Stage in order to retain his title. But he finished second in both, with Ogier winning the rally outright.
Even so, with Sordo coming home third in the rally and fifth in the Power Stage, Hyundai bagged a total of 33 points and, crucially, five bonus points. The decent haul allowed the team to beat Toyota by just those five points, with 241 points versus 236.