Salou, October 17, 2021 – Hyundai Motorsport has taken its third victory of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a superb double podium finish in Rally de España.
Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe enjoyed a near perfect weekend in the all-tarmac rally to confirm their second win of the season, with team-mates Dani Sordo and Cándido Carrera in third – their first podium as a crew and Sordo’s second of the year.
The 1-3 result marks a repeat of the team’s result in the last iteration of Rally de España that took place on mixed surface roads back in 2019. Hyundai Motorsport has asserted its authority on this year’s event, taking a total of 14 stage wins out of a possible 17 across three days of action, ten for Neuville and four for Sordo.
The Spanish crew were on dominant form during the final morning of the rally, winning all four stages – two runs through Santa Marina (SS14/SS16, 9.10km) and Riudecanyes (SS15/SS17, 16.35km). The duo had been involved in an exhilarating third place battle with Sébastien Ogier for much of the rally and got the upper hand when it counted, leapfrogging the Frenchman on Sunday’s opening stage.
Neuville and Wydaeghe backed them up strongly with a Hyundai 1-2 on the first loop. It wasn’t an entirely trouble-free finale for the Belgian crew as an engine starter motor issue prior to the Power Stage created some nervous moments, as well as the onset of wet weather conditions. Thankfully, they were able to make the start and complete their triumphant weekend with the second fastest time in the repeat of Riudecanyes – right behind their Spanish team-mates who took maximum Power Stage points.
Victory in Spain heralds Neuville’s 15th win as a Hyundai Motorsport driver and the team’s 20th in total in WRC. For Sordo, his 14th podium for the team represents his 50th career podium and extends his scintillating form on home soil.
Adding two more podium results to its 2021 tally means that the Alzenau-based team has 16 individual top-three finishes, its highest ever in a single season. The team also broke through the 100-stage win barrier on Saturday, representing another statistical milestone. Picking up a bumper haul of points from the weekend means that the manufacturers’ championship title will roll onto the season finale, Rally Monza, next month.
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Neuville said: “I am relieved to get to the end of this rally, to be honest. It has been a tough weekend, and not without its challenges. We have fought incredibly hard across all stages, taking a lot of fastest times, and gradually extending our advantage. The result itself probably doesn’t show how much we’ve had to work. We had a good clean run until the final stage; everything was working perfectly up to that point. Unfortunately, we had a lot of stress before the Power Stage with an engine starter motor issue. That was the only disappointing aspect of an otherwise positive rally. Thanks to Martijn for another good job, and our second win together, as well as to Dani and Cándido for their podium result.”
Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Sordo said: “Honestly you can’t imagine how happy I am, not only for myself but also for Cándido, as it’s our first podium working together. He has been working really hard to get us to this level. We couldn’t have done any more, we have pushed in every stage. Thanks to all my family and the supporters, who have been cheering us on this weekend. We have been involved in a fantastic battle with Sébastien and it has been a pleasure to drive here. Thanks to the team for giving me such a competitive car that has allowed us to fight, and for supporting me always. I am so happy.”
Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “I am delighted for my team because we have once again fought until the very end. It has been a tough rally, and a Power Stage that only thriller writers could have scripted – rain and late drama that generated a lot of emotions. We have achieved everything we could have this weekend. Thierry and Martijn have been amazing from start to finish, and they thoroughly deserve this win. What a composed and assured performance from them. Dani and Cándido have also accomplished something special. It would have been easy to settle into a comfortable rhythm on the final morning, but they pushed hard to claim third place and a clean sweep of stage wins. Full attack. We have managed to extend the championship battle until the season finale at Monza, which at least gives the fans something to see – we fight until the end.”
Final Overall Classification – Rally de España
|1||T. Neuville||M. Wydaeghe||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||2:34:11.8|
|2||E. Evans||S. Martin||Toyota Yaris WRC||+24.1|
|3||D. Sordo||C. Carrera||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+35.3|
|4||S. Ogier||J. Ingrassia||Toyota Yaris WRC||+42.1|
|5||K. Rovanperä||J. Halttunen||Toyota Yaris WRC||+1:31.8|
|6||G. Greensmith||C. Patterson||Ford Fiesta WRC||+4:17.3|
|7||O. Solberg||C. Drew||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+4:26.7|
|8||N. Solans||M. Martí||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+4:34.9|
|9||E. Camilli||M. Vilmot||Citroën C2 Rally2||+9:49.4|
|10||N. Gryazin||K. Aleksandrov||Škoda Fabia Evo||+10:05.9|
2021 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 11
|1||Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team||474|
|2||Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team||427|
|3||M-Sport Ford World Rally Team||187|
|4||Hyundai 2C Competition||52|
2021 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 11
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.
- End -
About Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
Established on 19 December 2012, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH is responsible for Hyundai’s global motorsport activities, including the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Customer Racing and electric racing projects. In WRC, Hyundai Motorsport quickly established a strong reputation taking victory in its debut season in 2014. The team finished as runners-up in the manufacturers’ championship on three consecutive occasions between 2016 and 2018 before claiming its first title in 2019 and repeating the feat in 2020. Since the establishment of its Customer Racing activities in September 2015, Hyundai Motorsport has become a trusted partner for teams and drivers looking for success on the rally stages or on racetracks around the world. From its competitive i20 R5 rally car to the competitive i30 N TCR, Hyundai Motorsport-built cars have claimed victory in several championships, including national rally series in France and Spain, as well as consecutive titles in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in 2018 and 2019. Designed and built at its Alzenau headquarters, the Veloster N ETCR was unveiled in September 2019 and heralds an exciting new era, in which electric racing is set to become one of the company’s pillars. Unified under Hyundai Motorsport, WRC, Customer Racing and electric racing are together playing instrumental roles in driving Hyundai’s global high-performance N brand, and are supporting an important perception shift for the Hyundai brand around the world.
Further information about Hyundai Motorsport is available at: http://motorsport.hyundai.com
About Hyundai Motor Company
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is present in over 200 countries with more than 120,000 employees dedicated to tackling real-world mobility challenges around the globe. Based on the brand vision ‘Progress for Humanity,' Hyundai Motor is accelerating its transformation into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. The company invests in advanced technologies such as robotics and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to bring about revolutionary mobility solutions, while pursuing open innovation to introduce future mobility services. In pursuit of sustainable future for the world, Hyundai will continue its efforts to introduce zero emission vehicles equipped with industry-leading hydrogen fuel cell and EV technologies.
More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at: http://worldwide.hyundai.com or http://globalpr.hyundai.com/