Eleven Rally1 cars to start 2022 WRC season in Monte-Carlo

Eleven hybrid Rally1 cars will start Rally Monte-Carlo, the first round of the 2022 World Rally Championship. The entry list was released on the same day Hyundai Motorsport became WRC’s first manufacturer to reveal its hybrid Rally1 car.

Hyundai’s three i20 N Rally1 cars will be driven by Thierry Neuville, Ott Tanak, and Oliver Solberg.

Rally Monte-Carlo will be Solberg’s first drive for the Korean factory team. He will share Hyundai’s third seat for the rest of 2022 with experienced Spaniard Dani Sordo.

Reigning world champion, Sebastien Ogier will lead WRC into its hybrid era in his Toyota on Monte-Carlo’s opening two Thursday night stages. French co-driver Benjamin Veillas partners Ogier for the first time following Julien Ingrassia’s retirement last year.

Ogier, who is only competing in select WRC rounds this year, starts first on the road ahead of his team-mate Elfyn Evans. Toyota’s final factory car is driven by Kalle Rovanpera.

Takamoto Katsuta and Northern Ireland’s Aaron Johnston will man a fourth Rally1 GR Yaris for Toyota’s “Next Generation” team.

Four Ford Puma Rally1 cars complete Monte-Carlo’s top tier. M-Sport’s new recruits Craig Breen and Paul Nagle will start their first full-time WRC season together seventh on the road.

Adrien Fourmaux and Sebastien Loeb are M-Sport Ford’s two remaining points-scorers. Great Britain’s Gus Greensmith starts his second full season with the Cumbrian team but won’t score manufacturer points as Loeb joins the team for WRC’s curtain raiser.

20 crews line up in a rejigged WRC 2 category. Each registered Rally2 crew can score WRC 2 points in a new “Open” class while drivers born after 1991 can also score points in WRC 2’s “Junior” class.

Reigning WRC 2 and European Rally Champion Andreas Mikkelsen leads a trio of Toksport Skoda Fabias at the head of the support category. His team-mate’s Marco Bulacia and Nikolay Gryazin are the first drivers to qualify for Junior points.

2021 WRC 3 champion Yohan Rossel steps up to WRC 2 in his Rally2 Citroen C3. Chris Ingram is another driver to kick off his WRC 2 campaign in Monte-Carlo after moving up from WRC 3.

Ireland’s Eamonn Boland will drive a Ford Fiesta in WRC 2 alongside co-driver Micky Joe Morrissey. The duo qualify for WRC 2’s new “Masters” category. The eight WRC 2 Masters crews are led by Belgium’s Freddy Loix.

Three Rally3 Fiestas form Rally Monte-Carlo’s WRC 3 entry. Junior WRC champion Sami Pajari leads Italy’s Enrico Brazzoli and the Czech Republic’s Jan Cerny.

Rally Monte-Carlo gets underway on Thursday 20 January with 17 stages running through to Sunday.

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Photos courtesy of Toyota, Hyundai, and Red Bull Content Pool

Adam Hall

Brought up in the Irish countryside, Adam was never far away from the world of rallying. From following local events like the Circuit of Ireland and the Ulster Rally, Adam now puts the stories from stages all around the world into words through his website Rally Insight.

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