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FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC 2016): NEW GENERATION i20 WRC KICKS OFF 2016 WRC SEASON WITH A PODIUM FINISH AT RALLYE MONTE-CARLO

WRC A FULL 2016

New Generation i20 WRC kicks off 2016 WRC season with a podium finish at Rallye Monte-Carlo.

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Hyundai Motorsport has secured a podium finish in Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship, with Thierry Neuville finishing in third place
Dani Sordo claimed second in the Power Stage and sixth overall, while Hayden Paddon registered a rally finish after a valuable learning weekend.
The result gives the New Generation i20 WRC a debut podium in its maiden event after a positive rally for Hyundai Motorsport to start the team’s third season in WRC.

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

24 January 2016

January 24, 2016 – Hyundai Motorsport has begun its third season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in style with a fantastic podium finish in the debut event for the New Generation i20 WRC.

Thierry Neuville steered the team’s new car to third place overall after a competitive weekend for the Belgian and despite battling transmission problems in the final stage of the rally (SS16 Col de l’Orme – St. Laurent 2 Power Stage).

Fresh from a 1-2-3 stage result on Saturday afternoon, the team had its sights set on securing third place for Neuville on Sunday morning, as well as a top-six result for his Hyundai Shell World Rally team colleague Dani Sordo.

The Spanish driver had a strong final morning with a trio of second place stage times, scoring points in the Power Stage, to finish in sixth place overall. The double top-six finish sees Hyundai Motorsport jointly lead the Manufacturers’ Championship with Volkswagen Motorsport on 25 points apiece.

For Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, third place in Monte-Carlo – his best result in the rally so far – marks a welcome return to the podium and brings his tally of Hyundai podiums to six. The Belgian nursed his car home after experiencing transmission problems in the final stage but made it back to service in Monaco to celebrate the podium result with the Hyundai Motorsport team.

Neuville commented: “That was a nerve-wracking end to our Rallye Monte-Carlo. We started to experience transmission problems before the Power Stage, which meant we were running 2WD only. It wasn’t easy but we only lost one minute of time so our podium was safe – and that was the objective all morning! We can be very pleased with our weekend. The New Generation i20 WRC has shown its potential and it is good to be back on the podium, particularly after the difficulties we had at the end of last season. To register the first stage wins and now first podium with the new car is a great feeling and this result is for the whole team.”

Sordo (#4 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Marc Martí put their early struggles with the new car well and truly behind them with a string of second-place stage times today. They moved into sixth place after an impressive run in SS14 (Col de l’Orme – St. Laurent 12.07km) and extended their grasp on the position during the morning, scoring two points in the Power Stage.

Sordo said: “We can all be pleased with the final result. It’s great for the entire team to have two New Generation i20 WRCs in the top-six, and to see Thierry on the podium. Well done to him and Nicolas. From my point of view, the start of the weekend was not very easy and I struggled to find confidence in the car. Working with the team, we have improved the car from one loop of stages to the next and we could already see yesterday that we were heading in a good direction. I was very happy with the balance this morning and could set some good times, which have shown the performance potential of the car. We must continue working in this way but this result is a nice start to the season.”

The focus for Paddon (#10 Hyundai i20 WRC) and John Kennard was to gather experience of Monte-Carlo’s notoriously tricky stages. The Kiwi continued to do that in the final three stages, setting top-six stage times. Despite suffering damage to the differential in the Power Stage, Paddon completed his first Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Paddon said: “It has been a positive, character-building weekend for me. We knew coming to Monte for the first time would be tough, and we approached the event realising we had lots to learn. Some of the stages were harder than others, but I have thoroughly enjoyed tackling Monte’s iconic stages and we were able to have some fun along the way. We’ve learned a lot and this morning’s final stages were a continuation of our learning curve. We broke something in the driveshaft under braking in one of the hairpins during the Power Stage, which slowed us down, but even that can’t take away from the encouraging weekend. For the team, it is great to see the new car on the podium in its first event, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the New Generation i20 WRC in Sweden.”

Hyundai Motorsport entered the opening round of the 2016 Championship with its New Generation i20 WRC targeting an improvement on last year’s result and a fight for the podium. Neuville’s run to third is therefore a welcome result for the team, even if there’s more to come from the new car.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “We are all delighted to see the New Generation i20 WRC finish on the podium here in Monte-Carlo. It’s an important result for the entire team and it is the culmination of a lot of work from our colleagues in Alzenau. Thierry has had a competitive and consistent weekend, and it’s really fantastic to see him back where he belongs – on the podium. Dani made big improvements over the weekend and he had a positive morning, including scoring Power Stage points. Hayden did everything that was expected from him – and he can now tick Monte-Carlo off his list with valuable experience gained. We can’t rest on our laurels because there is much still to do. We will run three New Generation cars in Sweden and we are determined to continue improving. For now, though, we’ll savour a hard-fought and well-earned podium.”

Overall Final Classification

1- S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:49:53.1
2- A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:54.5
3- T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +3:17.9
4- M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:47.7
5- S. Lefebvre / G. Moreau (Citroën DS3 WRC) +7:35.6
6- D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +10:35.5
7- O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +11:39.9
8- E. Evans / C. Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) +18:30.8
9- E. Lappi / J. Ferm (Škoda Fabia R5) +20:41.0
10- A. Kremer / P. Winklhofer (Škoda Fabia R5) +20:43.9


25. H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +47:05.7

2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings

S. Ogier 28 points / A. Mikkelsen 19 / T. Neuville 15 / M. Østberg 12 / S. Lefebvre 10 / D. Sordo 10 / O. Tanak 6 / E. Evans 4 / E. Lappi 2 / A. Kremer 1

2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings

Volkswagen Motorsport 25 points / Hyundai Motorsport 25 / Volkswagen Motorsport II 18 / M-Sport World Rally Team 12 / DMACK World Rally Team 8 / Hyundai Motorsport N 6

All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.

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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. In its second season, the team was involved in a closely fought battle for second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship, adding more podiums and stage wins to its tally. For its third season in WRC, Hyundai Motorsport is entering a brand new car, the New Generation i20 WRC, which will make its rally debut in Monte Carlo in January 2016.

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 2015, sold 4.96 million vehicles globally. With more than 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.

More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at: http://worldwide.hyundai.com or http://www.hyundaiglobalnews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicoletta Russo / Thomas Villette

Media Hyundai Shell World Rally Team

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