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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 17 AÑOS

STRONG START FOR M-SPORT WITH OGIER AND TÄNAK IN PODIUM POSITION

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WRC A FULL 2017

STRONG START FOR M-SPORT WITH OGIER AND TÄNAK IN PODIUM POSITION.

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M-Sport have had a strong start to their 2017 FIA World Rally Championship campaign – Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tänak both in podium position after the first full day of competition at this weekend’s Rallye Monte-Carlo.

It took no less than two competitive stages for the all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC to claim its first stage victory – Ott Tänak taking the privilege through the first pass of ‘Agnieres En Devoluy – Le Motty’ (SS3).

By the seventh speed test, M-Sport had also become the first manufacturer to secure a stage one-two as Ogier claimed his first fastest time for the Cumbrian squad ahead of team mate Tänak.

As well as having two cars in podium position, the team have also brought all three Fiesta WRCs home to the end of the first day without issue – something Team Principal Malcolm Wilson was quick to praise.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“We’re in a fantastic position, and that is thanks to every single member of our team. I can’t even begin to explain how much time and effort has been put into this project and we have all three cars at the end of the first day without issue.

“Sébastien was a little unlucky today. I think everyone knows that the Fiesta is new to him and with very limited seat time we have some work to do before he feels completely comfortable. But he certainly showed his class today. After losing 40 seconds this morning, he’s back up to second and just 45 seconds adrift of the lead.

“I think Ott surprised himself today. He came here with a plan to focus on his own rally. He has done that, and has felt extremely comfortable in the car which has yielded some very positive results. And I’m sure that being the first man to secure a stage win with this new car put a smile on his face.

“We’ve had a great start to the rally, and whatever happens, the team can be extremely proud of what they have achieved.”
OGIER AND INGRASSIA
SECOND OVERALL AFTER EIGHT STAGES
The four-time World Champions may be the masters of Rally Monte-Carlo, but it was always going to take time for Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia to develop a relationship with the Ford Fiesta WRC. With limited seat time prior to the event, the French pairing has had to find their way in competition, and have done so admirably.

The morning did not start as planned – becoming stuck in a ditch 2.5 kilometres into the first test of the morning (SS3) and losing 40 seconds to the leading pack. The set-back relegating them to eighth place overall, but they fought-back brilliantly.

Despite not being 100 percent comfortable with the set-up, the team made some positive steps over the second loop which allowed Ogier to post two fastest stage times en route to second place overall – hinting at the potential he and the Fiesta could possess once fully synchronised.

Stage performances:

SS3: 9th (+43.2)
SS4: 2nd (+4.9)
SS5: 2nd (+4.8)
SS6: 3rd (+13.2)
SS7: 1st
SS8: 1st

Sébastien Ogier (2nd) said:

“It’s been a tough day with some very difficult conditions which were made all the more challenging as the first car on the road. We had a moment this morning which certainly wasn’t the start that we were looking for, but things got better this afternoon.

“I wasn’t completely happy with the set-up over the opening loop, but we made some positive steps with that this afternoon. We still have some work to do to feel completely comfortable, but we are getting there step by step.

“We have had such a warm welcome into the team. Everyone is working extremely hard and we can see how much they want to succeed. We want to deliver that and a podium would be a really good start. For the moment, we’ll continue as we are and see what tomorrow brings.”

TÄNAK AND JÄRVEOJA
THIRD OVERALL AFTER EIGHT STAGES
Known for his blistering speed, Ott Tänak has not disappointed alongside new co-driver Martin Järveoja. Rising to the challenge, the pairing had the privilege of posting the Ford Fiesta WRC’s first ever stage victory on the day’s opening speed test (SS3) and followed that with a string of highly competitive stage times.

Currently holding third place overall, the Estonians are thoroughly enjoying the challenges and adapting to their new surrounding brilliantly – never out of the top-three on individual stage times all day.

They came here with a plan – to drive their own rally and learn as much as they could. They’ve done that, and it’s yielded some very positive results thus far.

Stage performances:

SS3: 1st
SS4: 3rd (+8.0)
SS5: 3rd (+5.9)
SS6: 2nd (+6.5)
SS7: 2nd (+14.9)
SS8: 3rd (+19.5)

Ott Tänak (3rd) said:

“It’s been a tricky day with some difficult conditions and, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t expecting to be in this position on this rally. Of course the car felt really good in testing and we were quietly confident but you never really know until you’re out there competing against everyone else.

“We planned to come here and find a good, consistent rhythm and that is what we’ve done. The partnership with Martin is working really well and we’ve both felt really comfortable in the car.

“The car is handling almost exactly as I would like it to and we’re just enjoying every minute of it. There is a little work to do before we are 100 percent where we want to be, but this is a very good start.”
ELSEWHERE
IN THE M-SPORT TEAM
Elsewhere in the M-Sport Team, Éric Camilli and Benjamin Veillas hold fourth place in the WRC 2 category.

The pairing were well within touching distance of achieving their goal of a podium position before running wide on a left hand corner through the second pass of ‘Aspres Les Corps – Chaillol’ (SS7).

Becoming stuck in a ditch, 25 kilometres into the stage, they lost four minutes to the leading pack. But with just 29.4 seconds separating them from third position, there remains all to play for on an event where anything can happen.

Éric Camilli (4th WRC 2) said:

“It’s been a really tricky day today and we struggled to get into a comfortable rhythm this morning. I was way too cautious in the slippery conditions because that is where I made my mistake in the world rally car last year. For sure we could have gone faster, but we also wanted to finish the day without a problem.

“Because of that, it was really disappointing to lose so much time this afternoon. We ran wide on a left-hand corner and it took us a long time to get back on the road. But this is Rallye Monte-Carlo. We’re only 30 seconds from the podium and anything can happen so our target is still within reach.”

ELSEWHERE
IN THE SERVICE PARK
Elsewhere in the Service Park, Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt hold eighth place overall behind the wheel of their DMACK-clad Ford Fiesta WRC.

Struggling in the slippery conditions, the Welshman lost time but there were moments which proved his potential.

When the grip levels were higher, Evans was right on the pace. For the first 5.7 kilometres of SS5, the dry Tarmac saw him just 0.8 seconds adrift of Ott Tänak – the fastest man through that particular section.

OVERALL
CLASSIFICATION
1. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2:05:24.6
2. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +45.1
3. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +45.4
4. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2:09.7
5. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai 120 Coupe WRC) +2:57.8
6. Craig Breen / Scott Martin (Citroen DS3 WRC) +3:04.1
7. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (Škoda Fabia R5) +5:50.8
8. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +8:12.1
9. Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson (Škoda Fabia R5) +8:22.4
10. Jan Kopecky / Pavel Dresler (Škoda Fabia R5) +8:38.2

-ENDS-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Prodrive is a world leading motorsport and technology business.

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Prodrive es un líder en el mundo del automovilismo y en los negocios de la tecnología.

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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 17 AÑOS

HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT SEEKS RETURN TO FORM IN RALLY DE ESPAÑA

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WRC A FULL 2017

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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