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FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC 2015): HYUNDAI SHELL WORLD RALLY TEAM – HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT INVOLVED IN CLOSE TOP-FIVE BATTLE ON DEBUT AT TOUR DE CORSE

WRC A FULL 2015

Hyundai Motorsport involved in close top-five battle on debut at Tour de Corse.

2015 World Rally Championship / Round 11 /  Tour de Corse // 1st - 4th October, 2015 // Worldwide Copyright: Hyundai Motorsport

Hyundai Motorsport continues to hold a strong top-five position at the end of the second day of Tour de Corse
Kevin Abbring remains the top Hyundai Motorsport driver in fifth place overall, just two places ahead of Hayden Paddon in seventh
Dani Sordo is chasing down a top-ten finish, while Thierry Neuville had a stronger day today despite incurring a significant time penalty after his retirement from Friday’s opening stage.

Tour de Corse Day Two

3 October 2015

Hyundai Motorsport involved in close top-five battle on debut at Tour de Corse

Hyundai Motorsport continues to hold a strong top-five position at the end of the second day of Tour de Corse
Kevin Abbring remains the top Hyundai Motorsport driver in fifth place overall, just two places ahead of Hayden Paddon in seventh
Dani Sordo is chasing down a top-ten finish, while Thierry Neuville had a stronger day today despite incurring a significant time penalty after his retirement from Friday’s opening stage.

Corte, Corsica

October 3, 2015 – The Hyundai Motorsport team is firmly in the hunt for a strong top-five finish in Tour de Corse, round 11 of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with three stages of the event left to run.

After a troubled start to the rally for many drivers yesterday, all four Hyundai i20 WRC cars completed Saturday without any significant issues. Kevin Abbring finished the day in fifth place overall with Hayden Paddon also occupying a strong position in seventh. Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville both put Friday’s disappointment behind them to tackle today’s stages with renewed vigour.

The day itself ran a shortened itinerary following the cancellation of SS4 (43.69km Casamozza-Ponte Leccia 2) due to road damage as a result of yesterday’s heavy rain. That left just two stages to contest – the 36.43km long SS5 Francardo-Sermano, a repeat of yesterday’s final stage, and the monster 48.46km Muracciole-Col de Sorba stage.

Abbring (#10 Hyundai i20 WRC) started the day second overall after an impressive run on Friday. The Dutchman and his British co-driver Sebastian Marshall continued to acquit themselves professionally to retain a promising fifth place overall with three stages left to run on Sunday.

Abbring said: “To be challenging for a top-five result here in Corsica in only my second rally on tarmac is obviously pleasing, even if it has not been a straight-forward day for us. This morning, we opted to run with hard compound tyres but unfortunately on the drier parts of the stage, when we could have found an advantage, we picked up a puncture and could not push. We found conditions to be a lot drier in the afternoon stage but I was a bit disappointed with our time. We could have been a bit more aggressive with the set-up of the car for those conditions but we are learning all the time. Looking at the positives, we are in fifth overall so tomorrow we will do all we can to keep that. ”

For tarmac novice Paddon (#20 Hyundai i20 WRC) and co-driver John Kennard, it was another useful day of acclimatisation with slippery conditions in the morning stage and a more typical tarmac stage in the afternoon. The Kiwi moved up to seventh overall as a result of a solid day’s work in changeable conditions.

Paddon commented: “We’ve had better conditions today and although it was still slippery in places, our confidence was much higher. We made the wrong tyre choice in the morning stage, expecting it to be drier than it was, but the time was still OK. This afternoon, it was a nice proper tarmac stage so I focused on my driving rather than on the pace notes. I felt that my driving was better but we weren’t following the notes as closely so there was room for improvement. Still, it’s been another valuable day of learning and we will continue to build on this tomorrow.”

Spanish crew Dani Sordo and Marc Martí (#8 Hyundai i20 WRC) also made up ground today after a disappointing end to their otherwise strong Friday. Sordo was the highest placed Hyundai Motorsport driver in both stages today, securing two competitive top-five stage times. He is now just outside of the top-ten overall.

Sordo said: “We faced some really tough conditions again this morning, very muddy and slippery but this afternoon’s stage was much better. There were still tricky parts but we were able to find enough confidence to push more. In fact, the times on both stages today were quite good and we have been able to make up some positions on the overall classification. Of course, we could have been higher without our problem yesterday afternoon but this is rallying and we will now just concentrate on the three stages tomorrow to see how much more ground we can make up. The car has been performing well and we have shown a good level of competitiveness so far this weekend, so from that point of view we can be pretty satisfied.”

Following a tough start to Tour de Corse with an early retirement on Friday’s opening stage, Neuville resumed under Rally 2 this morning. Despite the time penalty – the Belgian had two clean runs and has built up his confidence in the tricky conditions.

Neuville said: “It has been a better day for us after yesterday’s difficulties. The first stage this morning was run in very slippery conditions, which was particularly bad for us going first on the road. I took it carefully to get through the stage safely – but I was maybe a bit too steady. We used the lunchtime break to check the pace notes and we improved in the afternoon stage. We had a bit of understeer but the conditions were much better. The car has generally been running well today so our focus now has to be on getting decent runs in tomorrow’s three stages and to see what we can do to make up positions.”

Hyundai Motorsport is fielding a four-car entry into Tour de Corse, just the third time this season that the team has entered a quartet of Hyundai i20 WRC cars into a WRC event. With two cars in with a shout of a top-five finish in the team’s first visit to Corsica, it’s been a positive weekend so far.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “This has been one of the most unpredictable rallies of the season. We have faced tricky conditions on all stages, as well as another cancelled stage today, so as a team we have had to react to changing circumstances. We are pleased to have all four cars make it through Saturday unscathed and to see Kevin and Hayden in strong positions overall. Dani and Thierry have also fought hard today to recover positions after yesterday’s dramas. We saw different tyre choices this morning but with similar results from our drivers. A solid and trouble-free afternoon stage allows us to prepare calmly for tomorrow, which contains two very long stages in which anything can happen. Based on this rally so far, we have to be prepared for anything.”

The final day of Tour de Corse takes in a total of 95km of special stages with a 36.71km run of Sotta-Chialza in the early morning followed by the even longer 41.46km Zérubia-Martini. The shorter 16.74km Bisinao-Agosta Power Stage will bring the event to a conclusion at lunchtime.

Overall Classification after Day Two

1- J.M Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 1:42:24.8
2- E. Evans / D. Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2.0
3- A. Mikkelsen / O. Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +30.8
4- K. Meeke / P. Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +53.6
5- K. Abbring / S. Marshall (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:00.1
6- M. Østberg / J. Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1:05.7
7- H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:25.5
8- B. Bouffier / T. De La Haye (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:37.2
9- S. Sarrazin / J. J. Renucci (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:51.6
10- O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:53.9​
11- D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:02.6

-Ends-

About Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
Established on 19 December 2012, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH is responsible for Hyundai’s global motorsport activities and primarily for its World Rally Championship programme. Based in Alzenau on the outskirts of Frankfurt in Germany, the company embarked on its debut season in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2014 with a bespoke team of skilled staff and a brand new car, the Hyundai i20 WRC. The team made a strong impression in its first year claiming podium results in Mexico and Poland, as well as a memorable 1-2 in Germany with Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo. 2015 is Hyundai Motorsport’s second season in WRC and the team aims to build on the firm foundations laid in its maiden year of competition.

Further information about Hyundai Motorsport is available at: http://motorsport.hyundai.com

About Hyundai Motor Company
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond. The company, which leads the Hyundai Motor Group, an innovative business structure capable of circulating resources from molten iron to finished cars, offers top-quality best-sellers such as Elantra, Sonata and Genesis. Hyundai Motor has eight manufacturing bases and seven design & technical centers worldwide and in 2014, sold 4.96 million vehicles globally. With almost 100,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with localized models and strives to strengthen its leadership in clean technology, starting with the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle, ix35 Fuel Cell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicoletta Russo / Thomas Villette

Media Hyundai Shell World Rally Team

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