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Kevin Abbring impresses for Hyundai Motorsport on tricky opening day in Corsica.

2015 World Rally Championship / Round 11 / Tour de Corse // 1st - 4th October, 2015 // Worldwide Copyright: Hyundai Motorsport

Heavy rain has disrupted the opening day for this weekend’s Tour de Corse, round 11 of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with just two of the three scheduled stages run
Kevin Abbring has ended the day as the top Hyundai Motorsport driver in second overall after a strong run for the Dutchman in only his fourth WRC event of the season
Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo both completed a challenging Friday in their respective Hyundai i20 WRCS while Thierry Neuville’s day ended early after an incident on SS1.

2 October 2015

Corte, Corsica

October 2, 2015 – The return of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) to Corsica has been met with torrential weather as heavy rain hampered running on the opening day of this year’s Tour de Corse.

Just two of the day’s three scheduled stages were able to run with treacherous roads forcing the cancellation of SS2 (43.69km Casamozza – Ponte Leccia) and making life difficult for drivers in the two other stages.

In the first WRC Tour de Corse since 2008, the tricky tarmac conditions resulted in mixed results for the Hyundai i20 WRCs. Kevin Abbring ended the day as the top Hyundai Motorsport driver in second place overall, just 18.7s off the rally lead, after two trouble-free stages for the Dutchman.

Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon completed both stages, although not without incident, and finished Friday in 11th and 14th overall, while Thierry Neuville clipped a bridge just 1.2km into the first stage and was forced to retire.

Abbring (#10 Hyundai i20 WRC), taking part in the third of a four-rally programme with Hyundai Motorsport, took a measured approach on the opening day of Tour de Corse in which he finished third overall in last year’s ERC. Securing an impressive second in SS3 (36.43km Francardo – Sermano), he moved into second overall on the standings.

Abbring commented: “We took it steady on today’s stages. We didn’t really know what to expect on the opening stage and as the 15th car on the road the conditions were quite dirty. There were a few parts where the pace notes worked really well and my performance was good. We made some changes to the car at service and things went well in the afternoon. I knew I was on good pace in the opening 10km but it wasn’t so clear in the latter part, so I had to be careful. This is our second tarmac rally and I’m just focused on trusting the pace notes fully. Considering the circumstances today, I am very happy with how it is working so far. We’ll continue to work in this way tomorrow and see what more improvements we can make.”

Paddon (#20 Hyundai i20 WRC) does not have much experience on damp tarmac conditions so adopted a careful approach to the start of his first Tour de Corse. Despite a big moment in the second stage (SS3), the Kiwi fared well to finish eighth in stage, just outside the top ten overall.

Paddon said: “It’s been a very demanding day for our first day in Corsica. It was very slippery this morning and I don’t have much experience driving in conditions like that, so I didn’t have any confidence. I just adapted my driving accordingly to get the car to the end of the stage. That stage gave us a base on which to build. The afternoon stage, after the cancellation of SS2, started well but after one kilometre we hit a rock and damaged a wheel. We had a bad vibration after that and were very lucky later on when we were close to a sheer drop. It was a heart in the mouth moment, so I was just pleased to make it to the end of the day. We have more to learn here and, conditions prevailing, we will look to make improvements tomorrow.”

Sordo (#8 Hyundai i20 WRC) showed competitive form in both stages but a broken wheel after hitting a stone in the opening split of SS3 lost him two minutes of time, dropping him down the order. It was particularly frustrating for the Spaniard after his split times in the rest of that stage were on par with the rally leader.

Sordo said: “It was a day of mixed results for me, but overall there are some positives. The first stage was not too bad at all. The conditions were a bit damp and a lot of corners were muddy and slippery in places. We had some understeer towards the end of the stage but overall it was a good start. In the afternoon, all of our time loss in SS3 was caused in the first split when we went tight into a corner and caught a rock on the inside, which broke the rim. We lost two minutes as a result, a very frustrating situation because I was on good pace after that. We’ll regroup and see what conditions are like tomorrow. For sure, we’ll try to reclaim some positions.”

For Neuville (#7 Hyundai i20 WRC), his Friday was brought to an early end after making contact with a bridge just 1.2km into the opening stage (29.12km Plage du Liamone – Sarrola- Carcopino), which caused irreparable damage to his car. The Belgian will re-join the rally tomorrow where he will aim to recover positions.

Neuville said: “I started out a high rhythm and tried to push because I like the slippery conditions. Unfortunately, I was a bit early turning into a very tight left-hander early on in the stage. The speed was OK but because I was a bit early I had to open and turn again. I used the handbrake and I slightly hit a wall, damaging the rear suspension. Two bolts were broken and we could not replace them so it was an early retirement for us. We’ll be back tomorrow but obviously we’ve incurred a big time penalty. Anything can happen here as we have seen throughout the two stages. Tomorrow will be a new start to the rally for us and our objective will be to catch up and, ultimately, look for some points in the manufacturers.”

It’s been a tough start to Hyundai Motorsport’s debut at Tour de Corse, although there have been signs of encouragement. Following today’s difficult weather conditions, there are likely to be more challenges to face on Saturday, so the team will be ready to capitalise on any opportunities.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “The heavy rain has made it a complicated day for everyone, and we’ve seen how easy it is to run into trouble. In that regard, it is very pleasing to see Kevin running second at the end of a tough opening day, in which we’ve had a cancelled stage and slippery, demanding conditions in the other two stages. All crews have faced difficulties but Thierry, unfortunately, was forced to stop after picking up rear suspension damage after hitting a bridge early in the first stage. Dani and Hayden made it through but a broken rim for Dani and a close call for Hayden prevented them from being further up the classification. Still, it’s early days and we have three very long stages tomorrow, which will require a steady approach if these conditions continue. It’s a valuable learning experience for Hyundai Motorsport in our first Tour de Corse.”

Three stages make up Saturday’s Tour de Corse itinerary, starting in the morning with 43.69km Casamozza-Ponte Leccia – the stage that was cancelled today – as well as a repeat of this afternoon’s Francardo-Sermano (36.43km) and the 48.46km Muracciole-Col de Sorba stage – the longest of the rally.

2015 World Rally Championship / Round 11 / Tour de Corse // 1st - 4th October, 2015 // Worldwide Copyright: Hyundai Motorsport

Overall Classification after Day One
1- E. Evans / D. Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) 46:48.5
2- K. Abbring / S. Marshall (Hyundai i20 WRC) +18.7
3- J.M Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +22.9
4- M. Østberg / J. Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +38.8
5- R. Kubica / M. Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +40.3
6- S. Sarrazin / J. J. Renucci (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +43.1
7- A. Mikkelsen / O. Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +44.5
8- K. Meeke / P. Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +47.0
9- B. Bouffier / T. De La Haye (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:04.8
10- S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:13.2
11- H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:14.9
12- O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:15.9
13- S. Lefebvre / S. Prévot (Citroën DS3 WRC) 1:39.9
14- D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:56.6

2015 World Rally Championship / Round 11 / Tour de Corse // 1st - 4th October, 2015 // Worldwide Copyright: Hyundai Motorsport











Nicoletta Russo / Thomas Villette

Media Hyundai Shell World Rally Team

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Rally Report Magazine 16 Años




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15 de Octubre 2016

La ilusión del cántabro Dani Sordo, del día de hoy, era mantener la lígera diferencia que cosechó ayer en la etapa de ripio mojado con algunos sectores con barro tripulando su efectivo Hyundai i20 WRC New Generation.

Pero hoy nada fue sencillo para el español, en primera instancia con problemas de subviraje en su unidad coreana armada en la factoría alemana de Alzenau, que le hicieron perder al término de la jornada valiosos segundos. Sin embargo, hay que decir, que el galo Sébastien Ogier realizó una remontada de aquellas, estableciendo cronos al más no poder, con un ataque frénetico sobre el piloto local de Hyundai, demostrando porque es el conductor de la especialidad del momento con casi cuatro coronas consecutivas en su haber, pilotando de forma perfecta el Polo R WRC junto a su amigo e inseparable navegante Julien Ingrassia. Descontando los 17 segundos que había de distancia entre ambos al finalizar el día inicial de tierra y ahora aventajando por 5.8 segundos contra la motivación intacta que origina Sordo, en el Rally de su casa, frente a su público y ante la gran oportunidad de cortar la racha negativa de no poder ganar en Cataluña.

En tercer escalón y en discordia se ubicó el belga Thierry Neuville, con el otro i20 WRC oficial de última evolución, con tiempos aceptables, pero lejos de Ogier y Sordo, y favoreciéndose, tras al abandono sorpresivo por vuelco del noruego Andreas Mikkelsen en la prueba especial 12, cuándo ocupaba la tercera plaza y tenía opciones de podio. Sin poder implementar su gran actuación del 2015, el rubio de Noruega, se va con las manos vacías de Salou.

En tanto que el fines Jari-Matti Latvala ha tenido un Rally para el olvido con el Polo R WRC número 2, con muchos inconvenientes, tanto en errores de conducción, con trompos, etc y pérdida de tiempo relevante en los varios pinchazos que lo consumió, quedando entre los 20 mejores clasificados al culminar este día sábado en PortAventura.

El “Kiwi” Hayden Paddon se recompuso de la mala puesta a punto del viernes y sostuvo un plan de trabajo constante a bordo de su i20 WRC, optando por la interesante cuarta posición, teniendo al británico Kris Meeke de la DS3 WRC by Abu Dhabi y al noruego Mads Ostberg de M-Sport entre el quinto y sexto puesto respectivamente, a sus espaldas, del talento de Nueva Zelanda, que se anima a decir, que sueña con el podio en suelo catalán.

Mientras que en la WRC2, las cosas están muy claras, solo una escuadra que domina a voluntad, los checos de ŠKODA, con sus dos estrellas que manejaron formidablemente sus Fabia R5, el experimentado Jan Kopecký y el sueco Pontus Tidemand. Que desde mañana buscarán el 1-2 fantástico para la marca que gestiona Michal Hräbanek y Pavel Hortek, desde su cuartel general ligado a Praga en Mladá Bolesvav.

Para finalizar dos cosas, los constructores M-Sport de Ford y Volkswagen Motorsport han confirmado que mostrarán próximamente a la prensa especializada a mediados del mes de diciembre sus nuevos autos de cara al revolucionario WRC 2017. Los esperados nuevos Fiesta RS WRC y VW Polo R WRC con las innovaciones aligeradas de las especificaciones que propone la FIA bajo la regulación WRCar 017 desde Montecarlo, la apertura central del Mundial en el año próximo.

54 – RallyRACC-Cataluña-Costa Daurada WRC 2016

Clasificación General Día 2

1-Ogier-Ingrassia-VW Polo R WRC – 2h.35m.12s.8/10 99.813 km/h.
2-Sordo-Marti-Hyundai i20 WRC New Generation -a 5s.8/10
3-Neuvile-Gilsoul-Hyundai i20 WRC New Generation -a 1m.03s9/10.
4-Paddon-Kennard-Hyundai i20 WRC New Generation -a 1m.20s.
5-Meeke-Nagle-DS3 WRC -a 1m.57s.9/10
6-Ostberg-Floene-Ford Fiesta RS WRC -a 2m.35s.7/10
7-Tanak-Molder-Ford Fiesta RS WRC -a 4m.24s.7/10

1-Kopecky-Dresler-ŠKODA Fabia 2h.42m.54s.4/10 95.138 km/h.
2-Tidemand-Andersson-ŠKODA Fabia-a 14s.3/10

All The Best, Pablito, Pablo MACHI WRC














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Rally Report Magazine 16 Años




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Rally de Córcega Día 1

Dani Sordo pierde opciones de podio en Córcega.

Cuando ocupaba la tercera posición provisional del Rally Tour de Corse, Dani Sordo se ha visto retrasado debido a un pinchazo en la última especial disputada hoy.

Sordo se ha visto apeado de la lucha por el podio por el que peleaba igual que en el pasado Rally de Alemania, y afrontará la segunda etapa de la prueba corsa en novena posición con el objetivo de llegar con el mayor número de puntos posibles el domingo a Porte-Vecchio, donde finalizará la presente edición del Rally Tour de Corse, décima prueba puntuable para el Campeonato del Mundo de Rallyes.

Dani empezaba la jornada acusando algo de subviraje en su Hyundai i20 WRC, a pesar de lo que marcaba el tercer mejor tiempo en la primera especial del día, Acqua Doria-Albitreccia, de 49,72 kilómetros. El piloto español del Hyundai Shell World Rally Team se iba encontrando más a gusto a medida que transcurría la etapa, pero pinchaba una de las ruedas traseras a pocos kilómetros del comienzo del último tramo cronometrado disputado hoy, perdiendo aproximadamente dos minutos: “Después de los tramos de la mañana me encontraba más a gusto con el coche, y he conservado los neumáticos en el primer tramo de la tarde de cara al último, pero he notado que el coche se movía de la parte trasera hasta que hemos comprobado que se trataba de un pinchazo y hemos tenido que parar a cambiar la rueda en pleno tramo. Ha sido decepcionante. No sé cómo ha ocurrido. Una pena, ya que nos encontrábamos en una buena tercera plaza. Intentaremos ganar alguna posición de aquí al domingo”, explicaba Sordo tras finalizar el último tramo disputado hoy.

Con salida y llegada desde Bastia, al norte de la isla, la jornada de mañana sábado será la más larga del Rally Tour de Corse y estará compuesta de dos bucles a los tramos La Porta-Valle di Rostino (53,72 kilómetros) y Novella-Pietralba (30,80 kilómetros).












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Home, speed home –
Ogier in a league of his own on day one of the Rally France.

Sébastien Ogier (F), Julien Ingrassia (F) Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2016) WRC Rally France - Corsica 2016 Photo: Bodo Kräling

Four stages, four fastest times – Ogier/Ingrassia open commanding lead on home soil
Latvala/Anttila and Mikkelsen/Jæger within touching distance of the podium in third and fourth

30th September 2016


Wolfsburg (30 September 2016). It doesn’t get any better than this. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) made a perfect start to the Rally France on Corsica in their Polo R WRC. The three-time world champions, who could claim the title for the fourth time in a row with victory at their home race – provided other results go their way – won all four special stages on the opening day of round ten of this season’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Two of the duos out to prevent the Frenchmen from getting their hands on the title this weekend are their Volkswagen team-mates, who are also on course for success: Jari-Matti Latvala/Mikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) ended day one in third place, just ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) in fourth. Second place after 157.68 of 390.92 kilometres against the clock is occupied by Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B, Hyundai). While Ogier/Ingrassia opened a commanding lead of 44 seconds, just 15 seconds separate the chasing pack of three in their battle for second and third.

The opening day featured some typical Corsican special stages: narrow, winding roads and long sections put driver, co-driver and car through their paces in gorgeous autumn weather.

Quotes after day one of the Rally France

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“An ideal opening day for Julien and me – beautiful stages, superb weather and a perfect car. The key to stage one was to find our rhythm. Looking at the lead we opened, we appear to have done just that. It was pretty hot in the cockpit in the afternoon, particularly on the long 50-kilometre stage. We have a similarly demanding day ahead of us tomorrow, particularly if the weather deteriorates. However, we obviously want to continue as we were today, to make sure we win in the end. That is definitely the goal at our home rally.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“We were a little too cautious at first, but gradually found our rhythm the further into the rally we got. We can make a few improvements here and there, for example when braking, but apart from that we are racing the right way for the Rally Corsica. That only makes the outstanding times set by our team-mate Sébastien Ogier all the more astonishing. Hats off to his performance. We will obviously try to stick with him tomorrow and on Sunday. If we can, we have a good chance of finishing on the podium.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“We are not so much focusing on winning the world championship, but more on securing second place. With that in mind, we are going nicely in fourth place. I struggled to know how hard to brake in the morning. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of time as a result. Apart from that, though, it was a good day for us, but we have two more challenging days ahead to come.”

Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“We could hardly hope for a better start to the Rally France. Sébastien Ogier was clearly in a league of his own, while Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen are also well-placed. First, third and fourth is more than we had expected and hoped for. However, everyone in the team is well aware that we are only one third of the way into the rally and we still have a lot of work ahead of us. If we remain as focused as we have been so far, there is a good chance we will be rewarded with a strong result.”

And then there was …

… a little milestone. Andreas Mikkelsen is contesting his 75th rally in the World Rally Championship at the Rally France – the 45th with Volkswagen and the tenth with his co-driver Anders Jæger. The Norwegian made his debut at the 2006 Rally Great Britain. Since then, he has finished on the podium on 18 occasions, including victories at the 2015 Rally Spain and the 2016 Rally Poland – all with the Polo R WRC.

Standings after day two of the Rally France

01. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen, 1h 37m 52.8s
02. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai, + 44.0s
03. Jari-Matti Latala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 58.0s
04. Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N), Volkswagen, + 59.3s
05. Craig Breen/Scott Martin (GB/GB), Citroën, + 1m 18.7s
06. Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai, + 1m 26.2s
07. Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (F/F), Ford, + 2m 00.7s
08. Elfyn Evans/Craig Perry (GB/GB), Ford, + 2m 36.3s
09. Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E), Hyundai, + 2m 39.1s
10. Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (N/N), Ford, + 2m 41.9s










André Dietzel
Media Volkswagen Motorsport

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Media & Comunication Top Run Motorsport

Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Photos: Hélena El Mokni / Daniel Roeseler / Kräling / Red Bull by Volkswagen Motorsport

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