Rally Finland – Day Two Report

Hyundai Motorsport continues to hold a top-five position in Rally Finland, the eighth round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship
On another challenging day for the team, Hayden Paddon is involved in a close battle for fourth place overall
Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville were the opening two cars on the road on Saturday, as the duo endured another unproductive day on the gravel stages.

Jyväskylä, Finland

July 28 2018 – All three Hyundai Motorsport crews have completed the penultimate day of Rally Finland with none of the drama that befell the team on Friday, although still without the outright pace required to fight for the leading positions.

Hayden Paddon remains the highest placed Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team driver at the end of 19 of this weekend’s 23 scheduled stages, in fifth place overall. The Kiwi and his British co-driver had started the day in fourth but could do nothing about a hard-charging Esapekka Lappi, who got past on the penultimate stage of Saturday.

A total of eight stages have been contested over a distance of 142.86km, making it the longest individual day of the rally. The morning loop of 23.92km Päijälä, 14.90km Pihlajakoski, 23.66km Kakaristo and 8.95km Tuohikotanen was repeated in the afternoon, following a slightly adjusted running order.

The hot summer conditions continued with the dry stages exacerbating the disadvantage for those running early on the road. After an embattled performance on Friday, Thierry Neuville was second on the order on Saturday with his team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen kicking off each stage in his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. Both drivers with their respective co-drivers were unable to make much of an impression on the stages, ending the day in tenth and eleventh overall.

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Consistent performances and a sensible strategy keeps Paddon in a strong points position
Nine seconds from fourth-placed Esapekka Lappi

Paddon said: “Our objective today has been focused on looking at the manufacturer points that we would achieve with our current position. We wanted to keep the Fords behind us, as Lappi would not be eligible for manufacturer points as things stand. There was not much we could do to keep him behind – he’s a man on a mission! We have had to take it easy and just try to do a solid job for the team. I’ve continued to feel comfortable in the car, and the changes we’ve made on the front differential have really made a difference. The hot conditions have punished the tyres in the afternoon, but I am pleased to be up there with Finns on their home turf and drivers who have won this event before.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Second on the road prevented a push from the Belgian crew
Target is to minimise points deficit to championship rival Ogier

Neuville said: “It has been a marginally better day compared to Friday being second on the road. I feel we’ve had a decent day, considering, taking no risks. We know we have nothing to play for. It’s a difficult situation but we absolutely accept that. Now, we need to keep the car on the road and get to the end of the rally. Having led the championship for a few events, we knew there would come a time when our job would be trickier – and this rally is that moment! Finland is a particular event; we just have to enjoy it and accept our limitations.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Friday’s struggles left the Norwegians first on the road for Saturday
Moved up from 16th to 11th overall

Mikkelsen said: “It is always hard to be first on the road. Thierry had to manage yesterday and today it was my turn. We have had to use today’s stages effectively to get some mileage under our belts in an effort to improve the car. We are trying in all areas to find solutions but there’s not much we can do this weekend.”

Finish line in sight

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “None of our crews have been put in a position where they can try to get maximum performance from our car today. Thierry and Andreas, after their difficulties and issues on Friday, were first on the stages today. Road position has been important here and the dry conditions have made it a huge challenge. We have asked Hayden to take things steady today to protect those manufacturer points. It’s a salvage mission more than anything else. We have made improvements to our car but Finland is one of those special places where a home advantage counts for a lot. It’s disappointing not to mount a closer fight, but we can’t become downhearted. We will try to finish on a higher note.”

Sunday at a glance
Four stages will take place on the final morning, covering a distance of 45.72km
A repeat of the 11.74km Laukaa and 11.12km Ruuhimäki tests will offer a competitive conclusion to the rally, with the second pass through Ruuhimäki acting as the event’s Power Stage, where drivers can fight for extra points.

Classification after Day Two

1-O. Tänak M. Järveoja Toyota Yaris WRC 2:13:18.2
2-M. Østberg T. Eriksen Citroën C3 WRC +39.0
3-J.M. Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +44.4
4-E. Lappi J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC +1:20.6
5-H. Paddon S. Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:29.6
6-T. Suninen M. Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC +1:45.1
7-S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC +2:07.6
8-E. Evans D. Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC +2:17.9
9-C. Breen S. Martin Citroën C3 WRC +2:56.4
10-T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +3:34.5








Media Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Photos: Media Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

28 july 2018



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