WRC 2 A FULL 2018
HMDP CREW JARI HUTTUNEN FINISHED SIXTH IN WRC2 IN RALLY SWEDEN.
Rally Sweden – HMDP
18 February 2018
Rally Sweden – HMDP Weekend Report
Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program (HMDP) crew Jari Huttunen and Antti Linnaketo finished sixth in WRC2 in Rally Sweden, their first event of the 2018 season
Finnish crew scored two stage wins (SS3 and SS19) in their Hyundai i20 R5, battling regularly for the top-three against more experienced competitors
Valuable learning experience for the crew as they look to build confidence throughout their 2018 WRC2 campaign, which will continue in Mexico next month.
February 18, 2018 – Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program (HMDP) driver Jari Huttunen made a strong start to his 2018 FIA World Rally Championship campaign in Rally Sweden, finishing sixth in the competitive WRC2 category and regularly setting top-three stage times.
The Finn, alongside co-driver Antti Linnaketo, made an immediately positive impression against formidable rivals, getting quickly to grips with his Hyundai i2 R5 on the tough, snowy Swedish stages.
After Thursday evening’s Super Special stage at the Karlstad trotting track, Friday’s itinerary saw crews venture across the border into Norway. An impressive opening day, with fresh snowfall lining the stages, Huttunen established an encouraging baseline, saw the Finns fly to a stage win in SS3 (Svullrya).
Saturday saw the action based exclusively in Sweden with stages near to Hagfors. The opening loop, which included a first run through the famous Vargåsen stage, and the Colin’s Crest jump, saw Huttunen experience his only real issue of the weekend. The duo got caught in one of Sweden’s infamous snow banks, which resulted in them losing over four minutes of time. Thanks to their perseverance, they completed the stage, albeit down in tenth place.
Following lunchtime service, the afternoon loop offered a more representative performance as they registered a string of top-four stage times, including three second-places, despite facing far more experienced crews.
With just three stages of the rally to run on Sunday morning, including a repeated run through Likenäs and the shorter Torsby Power Stage, the HMDP crew was able to bring their Hyundai i20 R5 to the finish in style. They topped the WRC2 timesheets in the Power Stage, bringing their 2018 debut to an impressive and positive conclusion.
Crew Notes: Huttunen/Linnaketo (#34 Hyundai i20 R5)
Stage wins in SS3 and SS19 offered glimpse of HMDP crew potential
Fighting among more experienced rivals all weekend for podium stage times
Huttunen said: “Rally Sweden has been a very good experience for me and Antti. Our target for the weekend was to gather experience and to build up time in the Hyundai i20 R5 on the stages. We were able to achieve our aims and also enjoy some positive moments. I was lacking rhythm and confidence early in the weekend, as I didn’t really trust my pace notes fully. I drove quite well, and it was nice to get a stage win on Friday, and then again in the Power Stage. Saturday was the only really disappointing moment when we got stuck in a snow bank and lost four-and-a-half minutes. Overall, it was all part of the learning curve. The car itself has been fast and we have a better understanding of how we need to set it up for the future. We’ve shown some good speed and developed ourselves as a crew, so we can look to Mexico with optimism.”
Hyundai Motorsport Team Manager Alain Penasse said: “Jari and Antti did everything we asked of them in Rally Sweden. They have proven to be quick throughout the entire rally, taking the fight to the more experienced WRC2 competitors. They were regularly among the podium times in stages, taking two stage wins themselves. Their performance in the final stage of the rally really cemented their potential, taking the fastest time and finishing sixth in WRC2. Without the incident in the snow bank on Saturday, I am sure they would have been fighting for the podium. All in all, it has been a positive weekend. They have learned a lot, and demonstrated their pace, so we look forward to Mexico to see what they can do on gravel.”
Final Overall Classification WRC 2 – Rally Sweden
1-T. Katsuta Ford Fiesta R5 3:01:27.5
2-P. Tidemand Škoda Fabia R5 +4.5
3-O. Veiby Škoda Fabia R5 +30.5
4-M. Adielsson Škoda Fabia R5 +1:49.3
5-J. Tuohino Škoda Fabia R5 +2:29.9
6-J. Huttunen Hyundai i20 R5 +5:02.1
7-H. Arai Ford Fiesta R5 +7:40.2
8-L. Stugemo Ford Fiesta WRC +19:50.3
9-L. Pieniazek Škoda Fabia R5 +28:06.2
10-J. Berg Škoda Fabia R5 +35:12.4
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.
Media Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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Photos: Media Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
18 February 2018
Categories: RRM ARGENTINA WRC 18 AÑOS