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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 17 AÑOS

PODIUM TARGET FOR HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT IN WALES RALLY GB

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WRC A FULL 2016

Podium target for Hyundai Motorsport in Wales Rally GB.

VH4

Hyundai Motorsport will be looking to score its first Wales Rally GB podium in next weekend’s penultimate round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
The team will be fielding three New Generation i20 WRC cars with Thierry Neuville in the #3, Dani Sordo in the #4 and Hayden Paddon in the #20
Hyundai Motorsport has twice finished fourth in Wales. With the team’s recent double podium results in Germany and Spain, hopes are high for a maiden GB top-three.

Wales Rally GB Preview

21 October 2016

Alzenau, Germany

October 21, 2016 – Hyundai Motorsport will make a return to full-gravel next weekend as it heads to Britain for Wales Rally GB, the 12th round of the 13-event 2016 FIA World Rally Championship.

After claiming a competitive double podium in Spain last weekend, the team will be aiming to extend its recent run of consecutive top-three results, which dates back to Rallye Deutschland in August.

Three New Generation i20 WRCs have been entered into the Wales GB, which will feature the Championship’s first stage in England since 1999. Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo, who starred for the team in Spain, will return for the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team in the #3 and #4 cars respectively. Hayden Paddon, who took his best-ever tarmac result at the last event with fourth, will compete in the #20 Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team entry.

The 22-stage Wales Rally GB has hosted the season finale in recent years but has moved slightly earlier on the 2016 schedule. Run over a total of 330.21 kilometres, the rally will offer teams another stern test. Friday’s itinerary comprises over half of the total distance with a staggering 178km of punishing gravel stages.

Although names like Hafren and Sweet Lamb are familiar to rally aficionados, they will be run in reverse direction this year. Saturday features stages that have not appeared on the rally since 1997. Adding to the complexity of the event, there will be no lunchtime service on any of the three days – meaning drivers will have to look after their cars with the unpredictable British weather almost certain to play a part.

All three drivers had a one-day gravel test ahead of Wales Rally GB to prepare their New Generation i20 WRC cars, but the real work starts with shakedown on Thursday, which acts as a precursor to the Ceremonial Start at Colwyn Bay.

For Hyundai Motorsport, the rally will also be an opportunity to put the New Generation i20 R5 through its paces in a second event, following the debut in Corsica last month, with Kevin Abbring and Seb Marshall back at the wheel.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “Wales Rally GB has not been one of our more successful venues in the past two years, but with the New Generation i20 WRC I am hopeful of a better result this season. We have shown glimpses of our potential before, including Power Stage points in 2014 and stage wins last year. The pieces of the puzzle have all been there; we now need to put them all together. It’s quite a complex rally with long days and often the weather can play an influential factor, leading to muddy, slippery stages. We’ve had a very positive season with plenty of podium celebrations. We will be aiming to tick Wales Rally GB off our list of podium targets next weekend. Following our double podium in Spain, there’s certainly a lot of positive momentum in the team.”

Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí head to Wales buoyed by their recent second places in Germany and Spain, which have equalled their best result for Hyundai Motorsport. The duo finished fourth in GB last season, so will be hoping to go one better in this year’s event.

Sordo said: “Wales Rally GB is a special event for everyone. It’s a ‘big name’ event on the calendar and one where we all want to achieve success. Typically, the terrain is quite challenging. If it rains a lot, the conditions can get very muddy and slippery. I feel that we are well prepared with our car for this event. It offers good grip, so often it can be very enjoyable to drive in the wetter conditions. As always, I’ll try my best to compete near the front. We had an incredible rally in Spain – and it was fantastic to be in a fight for the victory. I will carry those feelings onto Wales and see what we can achieve.”

Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul have been one of the most consistent crews since their win in Sardinia. A trio of consecutive podiums up to Spain have moved Neuville up to joint second in the Championship.

Neuville said: “Wales Rally GB is a very fast and exciting rally, especially with the narrow roads that go through the forest. It can, of course, be quite slippery as well. This is particularly an issue on the second pass when driving on wet gravel. It can make it very interesting, I can tell you! It’s a nice event and one we all enjoy a lot. To be competitive, you need to find a good rhythm early on, so that will be our first objective. We want to be challenging again for the podium – and to keep up our positive run of results.”

Paddon (#20 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver John Kennard enjoyed their most competitive showing on tarmac in Spain but the Kiwi crew will be relishing a return to gravel. Paddon is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, embroiled in a close battle for second. Just 16 points separate a quartet of drivers vying for the position with two rounds remaining.

Paddon said: “Rally Spain was a valuable event for us. We really made some good progress on the tarmac stages, and that was rewarded with our best result on the surface. I am now ready for a return to the loose stuff, so I’m looking forward to Wales Rally GB. It’s an event I enjoy a lot. It reminds me a bit of being back in New Zealand with the Welsh forest, and of course being an English-speaking venue. Despite it being an enjoyable rally, I’ve never really been able to put together a good result. That is definitely something we want to rectify this year. Bring it on!”

The stage action for Wales Rally GB gets underway on Friday 28 October, starting with the 32km Myherin, and runs right up until Sunday 30 October with the Brenig Power Stage bringing the event to a conclusion.

-Ends-

About Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
Established on 19 December 2012, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH is responsible for Hyundai’s global motorsport activities and primarily for its World Rally Championship programme. Based in Alzenau on the outskirts of Frankfurt in Germany, the company embarked on its debut season in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2014 with a bespoke team of skilled staff and a brand new car, the Hyundai i20 WRC. The team made a strong impression in its first year claiming podium results in Mexico and Poland, as well as a memorable 1-2 in Germany. In its second season, the team was involved in a closely fought battle for second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship, adding more podiums and stage wins to its tally. For its third season in WRC, Hyundai Motorsport has developed a brand new car, the New Generation i20 WRC, which made its rally debut with a podium finish in Rallye Monte-Carlo in January 2016. The team registered its first win with the new car in Rally Argentina, the fourth round of the season.

Further information about Hyundai Motorsport is available at: http://motorsport.hyundai.com

About Hyundai Motor
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond. The company, which leads the Hyundai Motor Group, an innovative business structure capable of circulating resources from molten iron to finished cars, offers top-quality best-sellers such as Elantra, Sonata and Genesis. Hyundai Motor has eight manufacturing bases and seven design & technical centers worldwide and in 2015, sold 4.96 million vehicles globally. With more than 100,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with localized models and strives to strengthen its leadership in clean technology, starting with the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle, ix35 Fuel Cell.

More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at: http://worldwide.hyundai.com or http://globalpr.hyundai.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicoletta Russo
Media Hyundai Motorsport
http://motorsport.hyundai.com

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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 17 AÑOS

ESPAÑA SIRVE UN PLATO MIXTO DE TIERRA Y ASFALTO

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WRC A FULL 2017

ESPAÑA SIRVE UN PLATO MIXTO DE TIERRA Y ASFALTO.

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ESPAÑA SIRVE UN PLATO MIXTO DE TIERRA Y ASFALTO

Tras un largo descanso, el Campeonato del Mundo de Rallyes vuelve con la undécima prueba, en Cataluña. Los equipos del C3 WRC intentarán demostrar su potencial sobre tierra y asfalto. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle, Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau y Khalid Al Qassimi/Chris Patterson son los pilotos del Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT para este rally.

53º RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada – Rally de España (5-8 de octubre de 2017) – Previo

30 de septiembre de 2017

VUELTA AL COLEGIO PARA EL WRC
Este año, los equipos WRC tuvieron que esperar hasta final de agosto para tener un respiro. Después de las pruebas de Polonia, Finlandia y Alemania, el descanso de seis semanas ha sido muy bienvenido después de un verano muy ocupado. 
El campeonato, por tanto, vuelve a la acción en Cataluña, en una prueba que es especial en más de un sentido. Con sede en Salou, justo al lado del parque temático PortAventura, el Rally de España es la única prueba de superficie mixta del calendario WRC. 
El viernes, la primera etapa tendrá lugar principalmente en carreteras de tierra de montaña, aunque el largo tramo de Terra Alta incluye secciones sobre asfalto. Al final del primer día, los equipos tendrán una hora y cuarto para convertir sus coches a la configuración de asfalto. La asistencia más larga del año es siempre un poco especial, tanto para los mecánicos como para los aficionados. Las principales alteraciones que se hacen durante la asistencia incluyen el cambio de los sistemas de transmisión y suspensión y la reducción del nivel de protección de chasis.
Las dos últimas etapas se celebrarán sobre asfalto. La prueba catalana es famosa por sus carreteras amplias y suaves, tipo circuito. La eficiencia aerodinámica y la potencia del motor de los World Rally Car 2017 será algo digno de ver en esta superficie. Dado que recortar curvas es usual aquí, los pilotos tendrán que estar atentos para evitar golpear las rocas sueltas y sufrir un pinchazo.

EL RETO: SER RÁPIDO EN AMBAS SUPERFICIES

Dado que se celebra sobre dos superficies con requisitos radicalmente distintos, el Rally de España pone un gran énfasis en la versatilidad de los pilotos y sus coches. Para prepararse para esta prueba, el Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team ha realizado tres días de test en Cataluña, solamente sobre tierra. Stéphane Lefebvre, Kris Meeke y Sébastien Loeb se turnaron al volante, consiguiendo unos reglajes que les iban bien a los tres. Sobre asfalto, el equipo aprovechará las cualidades del Citroën C3 WRC, que quedaron demostradas en el Tour de Córcega y en el Rally ADAC de Alemania. 
Este año marcará la décima participación de Kris Meeke en el RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España. Hasta la fecha, el británico no ha tenido mucho éxito en España. Sin embargo, tuvo un rally más positivo en 2016, que terminó con la sensación de haber encontrado el ritmo adecuado en esta prueba. Para dejar atrás sus últimas decepciones, el ganador del Rally de México de este año tendrá el objetivo de estar entre los líderes. 
Después de perderse las pruebas en Finlandia y Alemania, Stéphane Lefebvre vuelve a ponerse al volante del C3 WRC en España. Al contrario que su compañero, el joven francés tiene una experiencia limitada en la prueba, pero eso no le impedirá afrontar el reto. Basándose en su buena carrera en el Rally de Polonia – dónde acabó quinto en la general – aspirará a seguir aprendiendo sobre la competición en la élite del mundial de rallys.
Khalid Al Qassimi también celebrará su décima participación en España. Tras sus apariciones en Portugal y Finlandia, el piloto de Abu Dhabi seguirá con su programa parcial en uno de sus rallys favoritos. 
19 especiales cronometradas que hace un total de 312,02 km 
32 neumáticos Michelin por piloto en el rally. El viernes se podrá elegir entre el Latitude Cross H4 (compuesto duro) y S5 (blando). El sábado y domingo los equipos podrán elegir entre el Pilot Sport H5 (duro), S5 (blando) y FW3 (lluvia extrema). 
9 victorias para Citroën en España: 1 para Bugalski (1999 en el Xsara Kit-car) y 8 consecutivas para Loeb (2005-2006 en el Xsara WRC, 2007/2010 en el C4 WRC y 2011-2012 en el DS 3 WRC).

YVES MATTON, DIRECTOR DE CITROËN RACING

«En los últimos tres rallys de la temporada, nuestro objetivo ha sido tener buenos resultados después del podio conseguido en Alemania. En España, la situación es bastante específica en la primera etapa de tierra. Dependiendo de lo que pase con el tiempo, las posiciones de nuestros pilotos pueden ser una ventaja o un hándicap insuperable. Si conseguimos estar bien situados el viernes por la noche, entonces podremos aprovechar al máximo el potencial del C3 WRC sobre asfalto para seguir luchando delante. Durante los test que realizamos la semana pasada, probamos varios reglajes y algunos de ellos los utilizaremos el próximo fin de semana. Seguiremos trabajando duro para asumir el reto de competir con nuestros rivales.»

KRIS MEEKE 
«Hemos tenido una buena sesión de test y ha sido interesante trabajar con Seb [Loeb]. Siempre hay margen de mejora, pero creo que vamos por buen camino. Estoy deseando volver a la competición después de un Rally de Alemania frustrante y este largo descanso. Sin embargo, debo decir que es increíble que vaya a ser mi décima participación en Cataluña. Potencialmente, tenemos una buena posición de salida, pero eso dependerá de la cantidad de polvo y de si llueve. Para las últimas dos etapas, conocemos bien el nivel de rendimiento del C3 sobre asfalto. Lo principal es que quiero divertirme con el coche. Si lo hago, podemos aspirar a un buen resultado y eso será una buena noticia para todo el equipo.»
Número de apariciones en la prueba: 9
Mejor resultado: 5º (2011 y 2015)

STÉPHANE LEFEBVRE

«Estoy muy satisfecho de estar de vuelta al volante del Citroën C3 WRC. Han pasado tres meses desde que terminamos en quinto puesto en Polonia y tengo que encontrar el ritmo adecuado en unos tramos que son poco familiares para mí. Debemos tener en cuenta que soy sin duda el piloto menos experimentado en esa prueba. Estoy satisfecho de cómo fueron los test la semana pasada. Tuve la oportunidad de probar la nueva distribución de par por primera vez. Esta mejora se adapta a mi estilo de pilotaje muy bien y por tanto fue una experiencia positiva. Si las condiciones son favorables, intentaremos aprovechar al máximo nuestra posición de salida el primer día.»
Número de apariciones en la prueba: 2
Mejor resultado: 50º (2015)

KHALID AL QASSIMI

«Esta será mi décima participación en España. Esta prueba es una de mis favoritas del calendario WRC. Me encanta el reto que ofrece la ruta sobre superficie mixta y sobre todo el hecho de cambiar de tierra a asfalto durante un tramo te anima a rodar más rápido. Me gusta mucho el ambiente aquí; los aficionados son increíbles y la organización es absolutamente fantástica. Por eso me gusta volver a competir a Cataluña cada año. Intentaremos encontrar un buen ritmo dependiendo de las especiales, presionando cuando me sienta a gusto. Les deseo lo mejor a Kris y Stéphane.»
Número de apariciones en la prueba: 9
Mejor resultado: 7º (2010)

LA PREGUNTA TOTAL: ¿CUALES SON LAS RELACIONES ENTRE TOTAL Y CITROËN EN ESPAÑA?

Bernard Anselmi, Director Ejecutivo de Total España: «Total ha estado operando en España durante más de cincuenta años, lo que significa que hemos estado trabajando junto a Citroën desde el inicio de nuestra colaboración global. Hay fuertes lazos entre Total y Citroën en España, que se han reforzado por los éxitos en competición de pilotos españoles como Carlos Sainz y Dani Sordo. En los últimos años, el país ha pasado una crisis económica muy dura, que también ha afectado al sector de la automoción. La economía ha remontado últimamente y Total ha sido uno de los motores de esa recuperación. Para apoyar a los concesionarios de Citroën, tenemos una fuerza de ventas y equipos dedicados al apoyo y la formación en el campo de los productos del petróleo. También trabajamos junto con concesionarios, ofreciendo apoyo financiero para los que están interesados en invertir, especialmente en la renovación.»

VISIT ABU DHABI
CORNICHE

Corniche Road se extiende por unos impresionantes ocho kilómetros de costa. Corniche incluye zonas de juego para los niños, caminos para ciclistas y peatones, así como muchos cafés y restaurantes. Supervisado por un equipo de salvavidas cualificados, la playa de Corniche ha recibido la codiciada bandera azul, la etiqueta internacionalmente reconocida que garantiza agua limpia y segura para el baño.

RALLY DE ESPAÑA SCHEDULE (GMT+2)

JUEVES 5 DE OCTUBRE
8.00am: Shakedown – Salou (2.97km)
8.00pm: Ceremonia de salida (Salou)

VIERNES 6 DE OCTUBRE 
8.15am: Salida
9.53am: ES1 – Caseres 1 (12.50km)
10.21am: ES2 – Bot 1 (6.50km)
10.56am: ES3 – Terra Alta 1 (38.95km)
1.11pm: Asistencia A (PortAventura – 30 mins)
3.19pm: ES4 – Caseres 2 (12.50km)
3.47pm: ES5 – Bot 2 (6.50km)
4.22pm: ES6 – Terra Alta 2 (38.95km)
6.32pm: Flexi Asistencia B (PortAventura – 75 mins)

SÁBADO 7 DE OCTUBRE
6.45am: Asistencia C (PortAventura – 15 mins)
8.00am: ES7 – El Montmell 1 (24.40km)
9.07am: ES8 – El Pont d’Armentera 1 (21.29km)
9.54am: ES9 – Savalla 1 (14.12km)
11.35am: Asistencia D (PortAventura – 30 mins)
1.08pm: ES10 – El Montmell 2 (24.40km)
2.15pm: ES11 – El Pont d’Armentera 2 (21.29km)
3.02pm: ES12 – Savalla 2 (14.12km)
5.00pm: ES13 – Salou (2.24km)
5.30pm: Flexi Asistencia E (PortAventura – 45 mins)

DOMINGO 8 DE OCTUBRE
6.00am: Asistencia F (PortAventura – 15 mins)
7.00am: ES14 – L’Albiol 1 (6.28km)
7.38am: ES15 – Riudecanyes 1 (16.35km)
8.38am: ES16 – Santa Marina 1 (14.50km)
10.14am: ES17 – L’Albiol 2 (6.28km)
10.53am: ES18 – Riudecanyes 2 (16.35km)
12.18pm: ES19 – Santa Marina 2 – Power Stage (14.50km)
1.41pm: Asistencia G (PortAventura – 10 mins)
3.00pm: Podium (Salou)

FLASHBACK: RALLY DE ESPAÑA 1999
En su primera aparición de la temporada en el Campeonato del Mundo, los Citroën Xsara Kit-Cars se mostraron en gran forma. En las carreteras estilo circuito del rally, el poco peso y su ágil motor de dos litros hacían que pudiera competir con los World Rally Car de tracción a las cuatro ruedas y motor turbo. En la primera especial del rally, Jesús Puras se hizo con el liderato. El piloto español de Citroën consiguió una pequeña ventaja, mientras el fallecido Philippe Bugalski luchaba con Sainz, Auriol, Mäkinen y McRae por el segundo puesto. Pero las esperanzas de Puras de una victoria en casa se evaporaban al comienzo del segundo día cuando un problema mecánico le obligaba a retirarse. ‘Bug’ subía a la primera posición y ampliaba su ventaja sobre Auriol. Conseguía así la primera victoria de Citroën en el WRC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 17 AÑOS

CRC RETURNS TO LIUPANSHUI 10 YEARS LATER – FAW- VW TEAM WINS THE CHAMPIONSHIP ONCE AGAIN

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CRC A FULL 2017

CRC RETURNS TO LIUPANSHUI 10 YEARS LATER – FAW- VW TEAM WINS THE CHAMPIONSHIP ONCE AGAIN.

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30 Sept 2017

CRC六盘水十年回归 一汽-大众再夺魁

CRC returns to Liupanshui 10 years later – FAW-VW team wins the championship once again

9月25-27日,2017赛季中国汽车拉力锦标赛(CRC)六盘水站比赛在水城莽莽大山中举行。一汽-大众车队再次夺得全场冠军和厂商杯冠军。

On September 25-27, the race of the 2017 China Rally Championship (CRC) Liupanshui leg was held on steep, winding mountain roads in Shuicheng County, Liupanshui Prefecture, Guizhou Province. FAW-VW team won the Overall Racer Championship and the Manufacturer’s Cup Championship once again.

本站比赛一汽-大众车队派出4辆高7赛车,车手分别为外援马克•希金斯、首席车手陈德安、老将李国进以及小将林德伟。

At the Liupanshui leg, FAW-VW team dispatched 4 Golf 7 racing cars, which were drove by famous international racer Mark Higgins, the team’s chief racer Dean Chen, senior racer Li Guojin and new racer Lin Dewei, respectively.

一汽-大众车队夺得全场车手冠军以及厂商杯冠军

FAW-VW team wins the Overall Racer Championship and the Manufacturer’s Cup Championship

六盘水站险峻的盘山赛道

The steep, winding mountain race track of the Liupanshui leg

本次比赛共有四条赛道、9个赛段,全程约678.66公里,计时赛段173.74公里。除超级短道赛外,所有比赛路段均为柏油路面盘山公路,路况险峻、天气时常有雨雾,堆车手有很大影响。

The overall race track of the Liupanshui leg consists of a total of 4 tracks, which are divided into 9 stages. The overall race track of the leg is 678.66 km long in total, of which the timekeeping stage is 173.74 km long. Except super short tracks, all the tracks are winding mountain roads with asphalt pavement. The roads are steep and dangerous, and the weather was often rainy and fogy. All these had great impact on the performance of the racers.

飞驰过转角的赛车,挟着引擎的轰鸣声,刺激着观赛者的肾上腺

Racing cars speeding to turn corners as well as the roars of their engines stimulate spectators

争分夺秒为赛车调校以确保其最佳状态的技师们堪称伟大的幕后英雄

Technicians racing against the clock to adjust and check the racing cars to ensure the cars in their best conditions are really great heroes behind the curtain

本站比赛首日,一汽-大众车队选择保护赛车为主的跑法,例如在过桥时均采取了减速正常通过的方式。最终,四位车手以分列全场车手第二至五名的名次结束首日赛程。

In the first day’s race at the leg, the four racers of FAW-VW team tried to take measures to protect their racing cars from being damaged. For example, when they crossed a bridge, they slowed down the speed of their cars as normal drivers do in their daily drives. In the end, the four racers finished at second to fifth places among all racers in the first day’s race, respectively.

次日比赛一开场,马克•希金斯便以25秒的巨大优势反超至全场车手首位,随后,马克每个赛段都要比第二名阿特金森快上几秒,最终获得了全场总冠军,并赢得厂商杯冠军。陈德安与林德伟遭遇机械故障退赛。李国进顺利完赛获得国内车手第三位。

In the first stage of the race on the next day, Mark Higgins won first place among all racers with a score of 25 seconds. In each of subsequent stages, he always ran a few seconds faster than second-place holder Atkinson. Ultimately, he won the Overall Racer Championship and the Manufacturer’s Cup Championship. Due to the mechanical failures of their racing cars, Dean Chen and Lin Dewei withdrew from the race. Li Guojin successfully finished the race and won third place among domestic racers.

据悉,CRC下一站将在贵州三都举行,一汽-大众车队已开始积极备战。赛事已进入高潮,让我们共同期待一汽-大众车队余下几站比赛的精彩表现!

It was reported that the next leg race of CRC will be held in Sandu, Guizhou Province. FAW-VW team has begun to actively prepare for the next leg race. The event has entered the climax. Let’s look forward to the wonderful performance of FAW-VW team at the rest legs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media FAW – Volkswagen Rally Team CRC 2017 by Blue Focus Team

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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 17 AÑOS

HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT SEEKS RETURN TO FORM IN RALLY DE ESPAÑA

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HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT SEEKS RETURN TO FORM IN RALLY DE ESPAÑA.

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Hyundai Motorsport seeks return to form in Rally de España

Following two disappointing rallies, Hyundai Motorsport aims to bounce back in style at the season’s only mixed surface event, Rally de España
The team is fielding a revised three-car line-up with Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo joined by Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen
All three crews will be targeting the top positions in an event where Hyundai Motorsport has previously taken three individual podium results.

Rally de España Preview

29 September 2017

Alzenau, Germany

September 29, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport aims to get its 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) hopes back on track with a three-car entry into Rally de España, the 11th round of the 13-event season, next week.

The team will field a new crew line-up for this mixed surface event with Drivers’ Championship contender Thierry Neuville and home hero Dani Sordo joined by Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen in his first WRC event with Hyundai Motorsport.

Getting back into the mix

Spain’s composition of gravel and tarmac roads offers a unique challenge for drivers and teams alike. The rally gets underway on Thursday evening with a ceremonial start at Salou before the opening gravel stages begin on Friday morning. The itinerary for the first day will be familiar to crews from last year’s rally. The highlight will be the 38.95km Terra Alta stage, which includes occasional tarmac sections, and requires careful tyre choice and due diligence from inside the cockpit.

The mechanics have the biggest workload on Friday evening as they transform the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars from gravel to tarmac spec – all in the tight timeframe of a 75-minute service. Saturday’s schedule includes new stages and old before a final gruelling push on Sunday covering six stages without the luxury of service.

Rested and tested

Following two disappointing events in Finland and Germany, Hyundai Motorsport wants to re-position itself at the forefront of the WRC with a strong performance in Spain. The team has historically performed well at the event, having taken a third-place finish in 2015 and a double podium (second and third) in 2016.

In preparation for this year’s Spanish campaign, the team carried out two test sessions in September with all three crews on tarmac and gravel. An upgraded aerodynamic package – which includes a new front bumper and rear wing – will be used in an effort for Hyundai Motorsport to fight at the front of the competitive WRC field once again.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We have had a long summer break but we have used the time wisely to try and turn around our recent misfortunes. Finland and Germany were both frustrating, and saw us lose ground in the championship. From Spain, and in the final rounds of the season, we are determined to do all we can to catch up. We welcome Andreas and Anders into the team from Spain, an event they won memorably in 2015, alongside Thierry and Dani, who have both had podiums at this rally. For Dani, it will be extra special, as his home event, so we are in optimistic and hopeful mood. With an upgraded Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, our primary target is to get back onto the podium.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger have spent valuable time since their announcement as a Hyundai Motorsport crew visiting the team’s factory in Alzenau and testing the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. As a former winner of Rally de España, Mikkelsen is hopeful of positioning himself immediately in the thick of the action.

Mikkelsen said: “I am really pleased to be making my debut as a Hyundai Motorsport driver. Since the announcement, Anders and I have had the opportunity to test the car on both tarmac and gravel; I have been very impressed with what we’ve experienced. The car has already shown itself to be versatile, and there’s nowhere better than Spain to showcase those characteristics. It’s a special rally for me, as I took my first win in Spain in 2015, so it has fantastic memories. The changes in surface can be demanding, particularly with the quick switch from gravel to tarmac. It is a challenging, but highly enjoyable event, and I hope to be able to fight at the front in my first WRC event with the team.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Belgians Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul have it all to play for in the final three rounds of the season. Spanish podium finishers twelve months ago, the crew will want to recreate the sort of form that saw them win three rallies in Corsica, Argentina and Poland. Neuville has a 17-point deficit in the drivers’ championship to Sébastien Ogier, and a 16-point buffer to third-placed Ott Tanak.

Neuville said: “Entering this crucial part of the season for the championship, we must stay focused and look to target the podium, if not victory, in all rounds. Things are delicately positioned in the Drivers’ Championship between Ogier, myself and Tanak, so anything can still happen. Spain is going to be a huge challenge, as it always is with the change of surface. It is a rally that all crews enjoy, with a good atmosphere and, usually, great weather. We are rested after the long break and determined to put in our strongest fight for the title.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

For Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí, Rally de España is full of emotion as their home event. They already have two third-place results to their name in 2017, as well as twice finishing on the podium in Spain for Hyundai Motorsport, in 2015 and again in 2016. A hat trick will be their target next weekend.

Sordo said: “It is always a pleasure to return to Spain for my home rally, and to have the chance to compete in front of so many enthusiastic supporters. We definitely want to give them something to cheer. I think our road position will be beneficial on the opening gravel stages on Friday. We then move onto tarmac for the final two days, where we push to secure our third podium of the season – and our third in a row in Catalunya for Hyundai Motorsport. That’s the aim.”

Rally de España at a glance

The mixed surface Spanish event covers 19 timed stages over a total distance of 312.02km.

A shakedown and ceremonial start are held in Salou on Thursday before teams return to the PortAventura service park ahead of Friday’s gravel stages. The mixed surface Terra Alta on Friday represents the longest individual stage of the weekend at 38.95km.

Following Friday evening’s 75-minute service, cars adopt a tarmac-spec for the remainder of the event – covering seven stages on Saturday and six stages without service on Sunday.

Rally de España culminates with the 14.50km Santa Marina Power Stage, which has not been used since 2012, prior to Hyundai Motorsport joining the WRC.

– Ends –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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