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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 17 AÑOS

THIERRY NEUVILLE TAKES DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER RALLY FINLAND

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WRC PLUS A FULL 2017

THIERRY NEUVILLE TAKES DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER RALLY FINLAND.

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Thierry Neuville takes Drivers’ Championship lead after Rally Finland

Hyundai Motorsport has endured a disappointing weekend in Rally Finland, with none of its three crews able to mount a challenge for the podium
Thierry Neuville finished in sixth place, picking up eight points. By scoring three extra Power Stage points, he has taken the lead of the Drivers’ Championship
Dani Sordo finished in ninth, while Hayden Paddon completed a tough weekend under Rally 2 conditions on Sunday morning.

Rally Finland Day Three
30 July 2017

Jyväskylä, Finland

July 30, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport has completed Rally Finland, the ninth round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with Thierry Neuville finishing highest of the team’s three crews in sixth position in the #5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

Dani Sordo claimed ninth position, with Hayden Paddon resuming a frustrating event under Rally 2 conditions on Sunday morning with a handful of top-six stage times.

Sunday’s itinerary covered a repeat loop of the short 6.80km Lempää and 10.12km Oittila stages over a total distance of just 33.84km. Despite the brevity of the stages, there was no holding back with close battles at the front and important Power Stage points up for grabs.

Top of the table

Taking eight points for his sixth-placed finish, Neuville added three extra points for finishing third in the Power Stage. They were vital points for the Belgian, as he has moved to the lead of the Drivers’ Championship on 160 points, the same as Sébastien Ogier. However, Neuville’s three wins this year put him ahead of the Frenchman on the leaderboard.

There are 34 points separating Hyundai Motorsport from Manufacturers’ Championship leaders M-Sport, with four rounds of the season left to contest.

It has been an uncharacteristically low-key weekend for the Hyundai Motorsport team, who just three weeks ago, in Poland, registered its best-combined performance in the WRC.

With just a solitary stage win in Friday’s closing Harju test, the three Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team crews have struggled to find pace, rhythm or confidence on Finland’s notoriously high-speed, jump-filled gravel roads.

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

Although a challenging weekend brings their run of six consecutive podium results to an end, Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul continued their unbroken streak of Power Stage points this season. A strong run in the second Oittila stage saw Neuville achieve his pre-event aim of outscoring Ogier, and moving onto equal points with the reigning Champion.

Neuville said: “We set out to score more than Ogier this weekend, and we were able to achieve that. We had a very difficult weekend so to salvage some points is crucial. The Power Stage was a key moment, as we scored three vital extra points to move to the top of the Championship. This levels the playing field with four events left of the season, so it has been an important result. We know everyone is pushing hard to keep us in contention, so we have to put this complicated rally behind us and look forward to Germany, the team’s home event, where we know from the past that we can perform well.”

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

There are few positives for Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí to take away from Finland, as the Spanish crew struggled to ninth overall. They will look forward to a return to tarmac at Rallye Deutschland, where they have historically performed well.

Sordo said: “I am relieved that this rally is over. I have never had the right feeling all weekend, and on these fast roads you need to be fully committed to perform at the highest level. It has been complicated, not only for me but also for the team, so we have to put this behind us and look forward to the next event. We cannot let this weekend affect us; we need to stay concentrated and push flat out for victory in Germany!”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

After two retirements on successive days in Finland, Paddon and co-driver Seb Marshall re-joined under Rally 2 on Sunday morning. The pair picked up from where they were cruelly forced to leave on Saturday, registering top-six stage times. It was a case of what might have been for the crew, who could have built on their Polish podium were it not for their misfortune.

Paddon said: “It has been one of those weekends for us. After our retirements on Friday and Saturday, we wanted to approach these final stages in a positive manner and to get some time behind the wheel. This rally has perfectly illustrated our season, where anything that can go wrong does go wrong. The Power Stage was another example, when the car unexpectedly went straight on at a third gear corner. Still, we got to the end of the rally and I am sure, one day in the future, we will look back and laugh at our bad luck this year. I am sure we could have fought for the podium this weekend, and that is the positive that we will take away.”

Falling short in Finland

Rally Finland has never been a strong event for Hyundai Motorsport, and 2017 has continued that trend. Despite showing the versatile performance of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in a variety of conditions this season, the team has not matched its rivals on the Finnish stages, which require utmost precision and commitment from the crews.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “We expected this rally to be more difficult than others but we never thought we would be missing so much pace compared to our competitors. All in all, we are disappointed, as we could not reach our pre-rally objective to step on the podium. We have some work to do on this specific terrain and we can now focus on the next two events, which should be better suited to the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. On a positive note, Thierry has managed to pick some very important points, and he has now taken the lead of the Championship. This sets things up for a very exciting final four events. Finally, we send our congratulations to Esapekka Lappi for his debut WRC victory, and to everyone at Toyota Gazoo Racing for a great home result.”

Home sweet home

Hyundai Motorsport will aim to learn lessons from Finland, but look to put the disappointment quickly behind them with its home event next on the calendar. Rallye Deutschland, the first tarmac event since Tour de Corse, will take place from 17-20 August.

Final Overall Classification – Rally Finland

1 E. Lappi J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC 2:29:26.9
2 J. Hänninen K. Lindström Toyota Yaris WRC +36.0
3 E. Evans D. Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC +36.3
4 T. Suninen M. Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC +1:01.5
5 C. Breen S. Martin Citroën C3 WRC +1:22.6
6 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:33.1
7 O. Tänak M. Järveoja Ford Fiesta WRC +1:53.6
8 K. Meeke P. Nagle Citroën C3 WRC +3:12.6
9 D. Sordo M. Martí Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +4:11.5
10 M. Østberg T. Eriksen Ford Fiesta WRC +4:21.2 
2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings 
After round 9

1 T. Neuville 160
2 S. Ogier 160
3 O. Tanak 119
4 J.M Latvala 114
5 D. Sordo 84
6 E. Evans 79
7 C. Breen 53
8 H. Paddon 51
9 J. Hänninen 46
10 E. Lappi 45 
2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 9

1 M-Sport World Rally Team 285
2 Hyundai Motorsport 251
3 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 193
4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 135 
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.

-Ends-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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