Rally Monza Preview 2020

Hyundai World Rally Car on Rally Monza

An end-of-year rally has been held at the iconic Monza racing circuit near Milan since 1978, but this is the first time it has been added to the WRC calendar.

The stages at Monza make use of the racetrack itself as well as its historic banked oval circuit and access roads, with some gravel sections. For its WRC debut, the rally will also include stages on mountainous public roads north of Bergamo. 

The 4 -6 December date means the weather is likely to form part of the challenge, with rain, mud and fallen leaves – as well as cool temperatures – potentially reducing the available grip.

The rally will begin at Monza on Thursday afternoon with a single short stage, followed by a total of five tests around the circuit during Friday. 

Saturday is when the crews head out for two loops of three road stages near Bergamo, which will account for nearly half of the rally’s 241.14 competitive kilometres. There’s a return to Monza for the day’s final stage and then three more tests on Sunday to finish the rally.

Thierry Neuville in his Hyundai World Rally Car on Rally Monza 2020

The Toyota WRC team will travel to Italy with Elfyn Evans and Sébastien Ogier as the main favourites for the drivers’ title, separated by 14 points at the top of the standings. 

The manufacturers’ title is also well within the sights of Toyota, which is just seven points away from Hyundai in the lead. Kalle Rovanperä, currently fifth in the drivers’ standings, will provide further support in this aim as he looks to finish his promising rookie season on a high.

The Hyundai team’s rally-winning line-up of Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul, Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja and Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio will be looking to add to the team’s three victories this season, each crew having taken one apiece in Monte-Carlo, Estonia and Sardinia respectively. 

All three crews have tested the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in northern Italy ahead of Monza.