HYUNDAI MEDIA CENTRE

HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT CELEBRATES SIXTH WRC WIN WITH 1-2 IN RALLY POLAND

Jul 3, 2017

  • Hyundai Motorsport has finished Rally Poland with its best ever WRC result to close the gap in the Manufacturers’ Championship to just 22 points
  • Thierry Neuville secured his third victory of the 2017 season with an impressive performance ahead of team-mate Hayden Paddon, who registered his first podium of the year in second
  • Dani Sordo finished fourth, himself under 30 seconds from the podium, to ensure all three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRCs finished inside the top-four

Mikolajki, Poland

July 2, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport has registered its third victory of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon securing the team’s first 1-2 in WRC since Rallye Deutschland 2014.

Dani Sordo completed the rally in fourth place overall, making it the most successful combined result for Hyundai Motorsport in the team’s history. Neuville’s win represents the sixth overall WRC victory for Hyundai Motorsport since 2014, as well as the seventh double podium for the team.

Highlighting the strength of the team’s performance in Poland this weekend, 12 wins out of the 22 contested stages represents the greatest number of stage wins in a single event for Hyundai Motorsport.

Heading into Sunday’s final four tests, a repeat loop of the 11.15km Orzysz and 18.68km Paprotki stages, all eyes were on the intense battle between Neuville and M-Sport’s Ott Tanak.

After swapping the lead four times throughout Saturday, Neuville initially lost his advantage on Sunday’s first run through SS20 (Orzysz 1), but it was all change on SS21 (Paprotki 1) after a mid-stage incident forced Tanak out of the rally. 

Neuville, meanwhile, not knowing about Tanak’s issue, had pushed hard to regain his lead and emerged from that stage with a one minute advantage from his Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team colleague Hayden Paddon, who had been elevated to second as a result of Tanak’s trouble.

From there, it was a focused and measured final two stages with no risks taken to secure the 1-2 result. Neuville was also able to pick up an extra point in the final stage to continue his impressive run of Power Stage points this season.

The result means that Hyundai Motorsport has strengthened its hold on second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship, reducing the gap to M-Sport from 40 to 22 with five rounds remaining.

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

Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul have now taken five WRC victories for Hyundai Motorsport. Victory in Poland is their third win of 2017 and their sixth consecutive podium. Consequently, Neuville has reduced the gap to Sébastien Ogier in the Drivers’ Championship to 11 points. 

Neuville commented: “What a great result for the whole team! I am really delighted for everyone involved. It was a closely fought battle this weekend, as it seems to have been for the past few events. It was certainly a relief to retake the lead after Ott’s retirement this morning, as it allowed us some breathing space in the final stages. We could take it easy and relax – not too much – but enough to finish the rally calmly and to secure this great result. Our goal for the weekend was to outscore Séb, which we did, and we have closed the gap in the championship for the second rally in a row. We have to continue in this way but for now we can enjoy our third win of the season, and celebrate with the team who have worked so hard for this result.”

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

For Paddon and co-driver Seb Marshall, second place is the crew’s first-ever podium in only their third event together. It is the first podium finish for the Kiwi since he finished third in Poland twelve months ago, and marks his best result since his win in Argentina in 2016.

Paddon said: “I can’t tell you how relieved I am with this result. It feels like a win after the season we have had so far. We have had some really difficult moments so to finish second as part of a fantastic team result is very special. It’s like a weight has been lifted. This morning’s final stages have required a lot of commitment to drive slowly and cleanly in tough conditions. We were focused on third place, but to take second, of course as a result of Ott’s misfortune, is an added bonus. We still have some speed to find compared to the guys at the front, but it sets us up nicely for Finland – and beyond. Finally, a word of thanks to Seb for a job well done this weekend, and congratulations to him for his first WRC podium.”

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

Sordo and Marc Martí bounced back after a disappointing Rally Italia Sardegna to claim their fifth top-four result of 2017. It was a typically consistent performance from the Spaniards which saw them complete the rally 26.6 seconds from third-placed Sébastien Ogier.

Sordo said: “It has been a difficult weekend with some tricky conditions but overall it has been positive. I am really pleased for the team, as we’ve collected a lot of points for the championship. Fourth place is not bad, but I am always aiming to perform better and to be competing for the podium in each event. I will try to do better in Finland, but for now I think we can be satisfied with our Poland weekend, and consider it a job well done for the team.”

A new benchmark

Hyundai Motorsport had set out a clear intention for a strong team result in this weekend’s Rally Poland. A 1-2-4 finish not only achieves that objective, but also in the process has set a new benchmark for the team in terms of its best-ever combined result. The team has reasserted its intentions in the Manufacturers’ Championship, closing the gap to M-Sport.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “This is a really important result for us as a team, especially in terms of our championship objectives. More than that, though, it shows what we can achieve as a team when we are all on top of our game. Everyone has performed fantastically this weekend, and this 1-2 result is for all of our employees in Alzenau. Congratulations to Thierry and Nicolas on their third victory of the season, and to Hayden and Seb for their first podium as a crew. With Dani and Marc also not far off in fourth, we have had a good weekend. Of course, we were sorry to see Ott retire from the rally today, after what had been an epic battle. WRC is in great health with such a high level of competition, and we are honoured to be playing our part.”

Next rally

The fast and furious stages continue with the high-speed Rally Finland next up on the 2017 WRC calendar. The ninth round of the season takes place from 27-30 July and is a rally where Hyundai Motorsport has yet to claim a podium finish.

Final Overall Classification - Rally Poland

1

T. Neuville

N. Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

2:40:46.1

2

H. Paddon

S. Marshall

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

+1:23.9

3

S. Ogier

J. Ingrassia

Ford Fiesta WRC

+2:20.8

4

D. Sordo

M. Martí

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

+2:47.4

5

S. Lefebvre

G. Moreau

Citroën C3 WRC

+3:11.8

6

T. Suninen

M. Markkula

Ford Fiesta WRC

+3:16.8

7

M. Østberg

O. Floene

Ford Fiesta WRC

+3:39.6

8

E. Evans

D. Barritt

Ford Fiesta WRC

+4:39.1

9

A. Mikkelsen

A. Jaeger

Citroën C3 WRC

+4:43.5

10

J. Hänninen

K. Lindstrom

Toyota Yaris WRC

+4:53.7

2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 8

1

S. Ogier

160

2

T. Neuville

149

3

J.M Latvala

112

4

O. Tanak

108

5

D. Sordo

82

6

E. Evans

57

7

H. Paddon

51

8

C. Breen

43

9

J. Hänninen

30

10

K. Meeke

27

2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 8

1

M-Sport World Rally Team

259

2

Hyundai Motorsport

237

3

Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team

153

4

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

117

All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.

-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 year in WRC, Hyundai Motorsport developed a brand new car, the New Generation i20 WRC. The team enjoyed its most successful season to date in 2016 with two victories (Argentina and Sardinia) and a total of 12 individual podium results, finishing second in the Manufacturers’ Championship. With a number of key technical regulation changes introduced for the 2017 season, Hyundai Motorsport has developed a brand new car, the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, with which it will contest its fourth 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/

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