FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC 2015): RALLY DE ESPAÑA – HYUNDAI SHELL WORLD RALLY TEAM – HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT DRIVERS KEEP UP THE PRESSURE ON PENULTIMATE DAY IN SPAIN
WRC A FULL 2015
Hyundai Motorsport drivers keep up the pressure on penultimate day in Spain.
All three Hyundai Motorsport drivers have maintained a strong rhythm on the penultimate day of Rally de España, putting pressure on their nearest rivals
Dani Sordo remains in strong contention for a podium finish as he completed Saturday’s eight stages in fourth position – just ten seconds from second place
Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon are firmly inside the top-eight – and on exactly the same cumulative time – after a day of contrasting fortunes for both drivers.
24 October 2015
October 24, 2015 – Hyundai Motorsport continues to display competitive pace in the penultimate rally of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with all three drivers pushing hard in the fight for Championship points.
Today’s itinerary has focused solely on asphalt performance with eight tarmac stages, run over a total distance of 123.05km. Following a solid start on Friday, all driver crews started out this morning’s opening loop with the objective of improving their respective positions.
Dani Sordo was the highest placed Hyundai i20 WRC in fourth place, just seconds off the podium positions. Thierry Neuville had a positive day – including a joint stage win on SS17 (Salou – 2.24km) – and holds seventh place on exactly the same time as Hayden Paddon, who is classified eighth overall.
Sordo (#8 Hyundai i20 WRC) had another impressive day, powered by the support of the Spanish rally fans, as he ran as high as second with a string of top-five stage times. The Spaniard finished Saturday in fourth overall but within fighting distance of a podium spot in his home rally.
Sordo commented: “We have had a good feeling with the car today and we have pushed as hard as we could in all stages. We have tried to take the fight to those in front of us, and we have shown that we are here to push for the podium. We benefited a bit from others misfortune earlier to take second place but we knew it would be hard to defend that from the VWs. Still, we made some good improvements and have given everything. We head into the final day well within reach of a podium and with six stages left to run, we have every chance of achieving that. We’ll certainly try!”
It was a much better day for Neuville (#7 Hyundai i20 WRC) as he found significant improvements to the set-up of his car and, consequently, was able to get more confidence behind the wheel. He finished the day in seventh place overall and in good spirits after a joint stage win in SS17.
Neuville said: “I am really pleased with the progress we have made today. We struggled a bit on the opening two stages, but then set the fourth fastest time in SS12 (Poboleda 1 – 10.63km), which definitely gave us some encouragement. We were a bit cautious on the final stage of the morning but we made some changes to the pace notes for the afternoon loop and stiffened the set-up of the car to give us more lateral grip. It was a move in the right direction and gave us a much better balance from the car. I’m happy with what we’ve achieved today and will look to push more in the final stages tomorrow.”
Paddon (#20 Hyundai i20 WRC) endured two separate punctures today, which lost him valuable time in his push for the top-five. He lost 20 seconds in the opening SS10 (Porrera 7.43km) and more time in SS15 (Poboleda 2 – 10.63km) but the Kiwi aims to claw back time on Sunday.
Paddon said: “We had an OK day in places and had it not been for two separate punctures things might have looked very different on the classification. It was frustrating to lose 20 seconds on the opening stage of the day but it was my mistake. I just cut a corner too much and hit a rock. We were lucky to get away with it. We set some good times other than those issues and have shown a decent improvement compared to last year. We were perhaps overdriving in places so we’ll push the reset button tonight and see what we can salvage tomorrow.”
Hyundai Motorsport’s push for second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship will intensify on the final day of this weekend’s rally with six stages remaining. With only seconds separating drivers involved in the big battles for second and fifth places, there is plenty to play for tomorrow.
Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We have seen another closely fought day of rallying today, with eight stages held on asphalt. Firstly, I’d like to say congratulations to our team of mechanics for their efforts in preparing the cars for tarmac specification last night – it was another job well done and great to watch them take centre stage. The drivers have shown good performances once again today. Dani continues to put pressure on the podium contenders and he is pushing hard for a top three result in front of his home fans. Thierry, too, has made real strides today after working hard on improving his set-up and it was good to see him claim a joint stage win at the end of the day. His confidence is much better as we prepare for tomorrow. Hayden has had a harder day with two punctures but he has shown resilience to retain a top-eight place. All three drivers are motivated to push in tomorrow’s stages – and I’m sure we’ll see lots of action up and down the classification.”
Six stages are left to run on Sunday with three repeated stages – Els Guiamets (6.80km), Pratdip (19.30km) and Duesaigües (12.10km), the latter of which will be run as the rally concluding Power Stage.
Overall Classification after Day Two
1- S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:34:56.4
2- J.M Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +54.0
3- A. Mikkelsen / O. Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +56.9
4- D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:01.4
5- K. Meeke / P. Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1:42.2
6- M. Østberg / J. Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1:43.7
7- T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:56.5
8- H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:56.5
9- M. Prokop / J. Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:22.9
10- P. Tidemand / E. Axelsson (Škoda Fabia R5) +7:12.6
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.
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