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HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT CHASES CORSICAN PODIUM AS NEUVILLE STRENGTHENS GRIP ON SECOND

WRC A FULL 2016

Hyundai Motorsport chases Corsican podium as Neuville strengthens grip on second.

2016 FIA World Rally Championship / Round 11, Rally de France, Tour de Corse 2016 / September 28 - October 02, 2016 // Worldwide Copyright: Hyundai Motorsport

Thierry Neuville extended his grasp on second position in Corsica after a competitive Saturday that culminated in a stage win in SS8 (Novella – Pietralba 2)
Dani Sordo made it a Hyundai Motorsport 1-2 in SS8, ending a positive day for the Spanish crew who have now moved back up to seventh overall
Hayden Paddon continues to hold a solid top-six position as the Kiwi crew worked hard to find pace on the Corsican stages.

Tour de Corse Day Two

Bastia, Corsica

October 1, 2016 – Hyundai Motorsport completes the penultimate day of Rallye de France – Tour de Corse with Thierry Neuville extending his hold on second place in the overall classification.

A competitive run today for the Belgian and his co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul was capped with a dominant win in the final stage of the day ahead of Hyundai Shell World Rally Team colleagues Dani Sordo and Marc Martí. The Spanish crew put a disappointing Friday afternoon behind them to move back up to seventh overall. The Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team crew of Hayden Paddon and John Kennard hold on to sixth.

Crews faced 169.04km of special stages with an opportunity for a lengthy regroup at lunchtime and a 30-minute service. A repeat loop of two stages, at gruelling lengths of 53.72km and 30.80km respectively, offered another demanding day of rallying on the Corsican tarmac. After a dry start, rain showers moved across the island for the afternoon loop, putting a focus on the correct tyre choice.

Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) put in the performance of the afternoon as he took a convincing stage win in SS8 (Novella – Pietralba). The Belgian crew now has a 21.5s advantage over third-placed man Andreas Mikkelsen, as they look to score their fourth podium of 2016.

Neuville said: “We’ve had another good day and I was really happy with our performance in all stages. We started this morning taking more care with the brakes after our experience from yesterday, and we were able to maintain good speed. The New Generation i20 WRC has been working well and we’ve had a positive feeling. The weather conditions this afternoon put a focus on tyre selection, as we expected conditions to be slippery. In the final stage, we had a soft tyre at the rear, which was a good choice. I went wide at the beginning and hit a stone. There was some vibration but that went away, thankfully, and we could continue to take the stage win. The fight has been close with Andreas, but I hope we can keep our hold on second tomorrow. We have a monster stage to start off, and that will be the key to our result this weekend.”

Paddon (#20 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver John Kennard remain on course for a top-six result despite struggling to find pace on Saturday’s stages. The Kiwi crew were honest in their assessment of a tough day.

Paddon said: “I’m not going to hide away from the fact that it’s not been the best of days for us. Our times in the morning loop were not so good. We used the long regroup and service at lunchtime to understand where we could improve. It’s not been easy to put our finger on the reason why we’ve been struggling. We’ve tried a variety of things inside the car to get more speed. The weather played its part in the afternoon. As we’re not in the battle up front, we decided to cross over tyres in the final stage. That changed the balance of the car but we have to try these things. We’ve made it safely to the end of the day, so we will now look closely into all the data and see what we can do in the final two stages on Sunday.”

Sordo (#4 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Marc Martí, who has celebrated his birthday today, had a more positive day after a late puncture on Friday afternoon dented their podium hopes. The Spanish crew have moved up to seventh overall, and contributed to the team’s 1-2 in SS8.

Sordo said: “We wanted to put the puncture from yesterday behind us and quickly get back into the competitive rhythm. The morning went OK. We were out of the mix, so we tried a different suspension, which made the car a bit softer. The car felt good and the times helped us to move up a few positions. The final stage was difficult in places. We had chosen all hard tyres, so I was pleased we could finish second. We are not too far off the top-six, but we have a very long stage to start on Sunday. That will be important to get right if we are to pick up a good collection of Championship points this weekend.”

Hyundai Motorsport has never finished on the podium in Tour de Corse so the objective for Sunday will be to hold onto its current second position.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “Overall, we have had a better, more consistent day than we had on Friday, and it was good to end with a 1-2. There have been no issues with the New Generation i20 WRC cars and our three crews have kept calm to strengthen their positions on the overall classification. Thierry and Nicolas have been on good form, as shown perfectly by their stage win this afternoon. They have moved another important step closer to our maiden Corsican podium. Dani, Marc, Hayden and John have all replied well to their issues from Friday, and they will all be aiming for a top-six finish on Sunday. We know that these Corsican stages can be unforgiving, and there are some big challenges still to come in this rally.”

Only two stages remain to run on Sunday morning but the schedule begins with the longest stage of the rally – the 53.78km Antisanti-Poggio di Nozza test. From there, crews will face the concluding 10.42km Porto-Vecchio – Palombaggia Power Stage. A total of 64.20km separate Hyundai Motorsport from its sixth podium result of the 2016 season.

Overall Classification after Day Two
1-S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:27:10.0
2-T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +46.5
3-A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:08.0
4-J.M Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:41.3
5-C. Breen / S. Martin (Citroën DS3 WRC) +2:04.9
6-H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +2:42.7
7-D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +3:03.9
8-E. Camilli / B. Veillas (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:18.2
9-M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:10.5
10-E. Evans / C. Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) +5:47.0

-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. 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 has developed a brand new car, the New Generation i20 WRC, which made its rally debut with a podium finish in Rallye Monte-Carlo in January 2016. The team registered its first win with the new car in Rally Argentina, the fourth round of the season.

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

About Hyundai Motor
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://globalpr.hyundai.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicoletta Russo
Media Hyundai Motorsport
http://motorsport.hyundai.com

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