Rallye Monte-Carlo Day Two
26 January 2017

Rallye Monte-Carlo – Day Two Report

Hyundai Motorsport continues to hold a provisional podium position in the opening round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)

Dani Sordo is involved in a close battle for third place, having fended off the Toyota Gazoo Racing duo of Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala during Friday’s six stages
Thierry Neuville secured the team’s first stage win of the season, moving into ninth overall, while Andreas Mikkelsen was forced to retire after SS3.

Gap, France

January 26, 2018 – On another day of mixed fortunes, Hyundai Motorsport remains in the hunt for a podium finish in Rallye Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio have battled through a difficult day of stages, which included heavy rain in the afternoon loop, to consolidate their third position at the rally’s mid-way point.

Friday’s itinerary totalled almost 145km, covering a repeat loop of the 26.73km Vitrolles-Oze, 30.54km Roussieux-Eygalayes and 15.18km Vaumeilh-Claret stages. It was an intense day for all crews with gruelling tests, inclement weather, and closely fought rivalries from start to finish.

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul were hoping to bounce back from a frustrating Thursday, which saw them languishing down in 17th overall. The duo lost more time as a result of a rear-left puncture in SS3 but were then among the quickest crews in the remaining stages of the day. A string of top-three times culminated in a stage win in SS8, moving them up to ninth overall just 2.4-seconds from the top-eight.

For Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger, it was a day to forget. The Norwegians, having set an impressive pace on Thursday, encountered an alternator problem at the end of the first stage of the day, which they couldn’t fix in the short space of time before the subsequent stage.

Crew Notes: Sordo/Del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Spaniards continue to hold provisional podium position after first complete day
Challenging day for the crew with tricky conditions

Sordo said: “We have had a very difficult day. Our first loop was not particularly strong and we lost some ground, and then in the afternoon we had to face worsening weather conditions. The rain made driving conditions tricky and we also had poor visibility through the windscreen. The final stage had much more grip and we could find a better feeling in the car. The battle for third place is close so we have to do our best to keep the position tomorrow.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Crew secured a string of top-three stage times, including first stage win of season in SS8 (Vaumeilh-Claret 2)
Moved from 17th overall up to ninth with nine stages remaining

Neuville said: “We had a puncture on the very first stage this morning, which lost us a lot of time. After that we had a pretty good day. I am certainly happier than I was at the end of Thursday! Our aim was simply to make up as many positions as we could by driving cleanly and carefully. For sure, the weather this afternoon didn’t help anyone. The conditions were horrible with rain and mud, some aquaplaning and visibility problems. At the end of the afternoon, in SS8, the car was working well and we could enjoy ourselves a bit more. We are up into ninth overall, and everything is possible in the coming two days. A top-five or top-six finish is not out of the question.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Started the day in second overall, but lost time in SS3 going straight at a junction
Crew were forced to retire after stage with an alternator issue
Will re-join under Rally 2 on Saturday morning

Mikkelsen said: “Just after the end of SS3, an alarm went off in the car to signal low battery voltage. We stopped the car to check and discovered it was an alternator issue. With such a short space of time before SS4, we had no chance to fix the car, so we had to retire for the day. Fortunately, we are able to start again under Rally 2 on Saturday but it’s not really the way we wanted to get begin our 2018 season. We will now use the remaining stages to build some experience in the car, which we still need in order to find the optimum feeling on tarmac. The only thing we have left to fight for this weekend is the Power Stage.”

Frustrations and opportunities

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “Another day of ups and downs, which we have come to expect at Rallye Monte-Carlo. We are still in the hunt for a podium with Dani but we know we will face tough opposition from our rivals as the rally intensifies further on Saturday. We started Friday in frustrating fashion with a puncture for Thierry, and a retirement for Andreas. He picked up an alternator issue at the end of the first stage. Unfortunately, there was just not enough time in between the stages for the crew to repair the car. We had to bring them back to service and retire for the day. The mechanics have worked well this afternoon to get the car fixed, ready to return under Rally 2 on Saturday. Things are never easy or straightforward in this rally; it’s a reality check of the WRC’s challenges and demands – exactly as it should be. Let’s see what unfolds on Saturday.”

Saturday’s itinerary at a glance
Five stages make up the penultimate day of action, run over a competitive distance of 117.55km
A repeat loop of the 29.16km Agnieres en Devoluy – Corps and 16.87km St Leger les Melezes – La Batie Neuve will be separated by a 33-minute lunchtime service in Gap
The final timed run of the day will see crews tackle Bayons-Brezier for the second time this weekend, the 25.49km stage having already been held in night conditions on Thursday.

Classification after Day Two

1-S. Ogier-J. Ingrassia-Ford Fiesta WRC 2:07:15.4
2-O. Tänak-M. Järveoja-Toyota Yaris WRC +14.9
3-D. Sordo-C. del Barrio-Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +59.7
4-E. Lappi J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC +1:09.9
5-J. M. Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +1:10.1
6-K. Meeke P. Nagle Citroën C3 WRC +2:45.5
7-B. Bouffier X. Panseri Ford Fiesta WRC +3:34.6
8-E. Evans D. Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC +4:01.7
9-T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +4:04.1
















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