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HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT: TOUR DE CORSE WRC 2018 – DAY TWO

WRC A FULL 2018

HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT: TOUR DE CORSE WRC 2018 – DAY TWO.

 

 

Tour de Corse Day Two

7 April 2018

Tour de Corse – Day Two Report

Hyundai Motorsport continues to fight for a podium position in Tour de Corse, the fourth round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) after another tough day on the tarmac
At the end of the penultimate day, Thierry Neuville holds third place with a 0.1-second deficit to Ott Tanak in second and 44.6-seconds to leader Sébastien Ogier
Dani Sordo and Andreas Mikkelsen both made up two positions during Saturday’s six stages, holding fifth and seventh respectively.

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Bastia, Corsica

April 7, 2018 – Hyundai Motorsport is still in the hunt for a podium finish in this weekend’s Tour de Corse, the fourth round of the 2018 WRC season, despite all three crews struggling for pace and confidence on the tricky tarmac stages.

Saturday’s itinerary has seen the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team drivers tackle a repeat loop of three stages, including a 35.61km test through Cagnano – Pino – Canari, the 15.45km Désert des Agriates and the more familiar 17.39km run through Novella.

The highest placed Hyundai Motorsport crew, Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, completed the penultimate day of the rally in third overall. The Belgians saw their close fought battle with Kris Meeke end on Saturday’s final stage, as Meeke went off, however the duo were unable to fend off a charge from Toyota’s Ott Tanak, who moved up into second place by 0.1-seconds.

Difficulties for other crews during the day helped Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio move up into fifth place overall, although the Spaniards reported a slightly more positive feeling from inside their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. Norwegians Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger persevered with an under-steering car and completed the day in seventh place.

With the longest stage of the rally yet to run – a 55km monster test (Vero – Sarrola – Carcopino) – there is plenty still to play for, so none of the crews will give up pushing for improved positions on Sunday morning.

WRC Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Few highlights for the Belgians as they seek to consolidate a podium position
Third place at the end of Saturday with a 0.1-second gap to Tanak in second

Neuville said: “There is very little to say after another very demanding day. We have pushed as much as we can in every stage – but a bit too much on the edge at times. It’s all we can do to try and defend our podium position. We have struggled with the set-up of the car at times, and some of the roads really didn’t suit our car. Like yesterday, we had to accept certain limitations to what we could achieve. It has been mission impossible to defend second place so all we can hope now is that we can keep third position, and minimise the damage after a difficult weekend so far for Hyundai Motorsport.”

WRC Crew Notes: Sordo/Del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Spaniards showed slightly improved stage times on Saturday
Top-five position would yield valuable championship points

Sordo said: “We made some modifications to the car for today’s stages, which gave us a bit more confidence and a very small improvement on the times. We have done all we can, pushing all the time, but there are still some settings issues that we have yet to resolve. It has been a similar issue for other crews. All we can do is adapt the car to find more front-end grip, and aim to improve on tomorrow’s long stage. It might be a bit too late, but we won’t give up without a fight.”

WRC Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
A tough day on the Corsican stages for the Norwegian crew
Gained two positions to move up into seventh overall

Mikkelsen said: “Running seventh on the classification is not where we want or expect to be. We have battled a lot with understeer, which has been made worse on the wider, racing-style stages today. We were able to close in a bit on the cars in front of us during the morning loop, but we don’t want to be relying on others’ misfortune to gain positions. We’d much rather be fighting at the front. I tried to change my driving style in the afternoon, but that didn’t deliver any improvement. It’s important for us to continue trying to improve the car and our pace until the very end of the rally.”

Keep on pushing

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “We have tried to improve the setting of our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC to give our drivers a better feeling. We didn’t make any drastic changes because it’s easy to lose lots of time on a long stage if you make even a minor misstep on the settings. Again, we have not been able to match the pace of some of our competitors but the crews have kept giving it their maximum effort. This is all we can ask for, and there is still a valuable podium position up for grabs, as well as good points-scoring positions in the top-five. The long 55km stage on Sunday could deliver more surprises, so we can’t afford to give up the fight. It’s definitely not in our nature.”

Sunday’s itinerary at a glance
Two stages remain on the Tour de Corse itinerary covering a total distance of 71.42km
It’s far from an easy Sunday drive for the crews with the longest stage of the rally – the 55.17km Vero – Sarrola – Carcopino – followed by the 16.25km Pénitencier de Coti-Chiavari Power Stage.

Classification after Day Two

1-S. Ogier-J. Ingrassia-Ford Fiesta WRC – 2:43:07.7
2-O. Tänak-M. Järveoja-Toyota Yaris WRC – +44.5
3-T. Neuville-N. Gilsoul-Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC – +44.6
4-E. Lappi-J. Ferm-Toyota Yaris WRC – +54.9
5-D. Sordo-C. del Barrio-Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC – +1:46.7
6-E. Evans-P. Mills-Ford Fiesta WRC – +1:49.8
8 -A. Mikkelsen-A. Jæger-Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC – +2:13.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicoletta Russo
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7 April 2018

Categories:   RRM ARGENTINA WRC 18 AÑOS

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