Hyundai Motorsport has begun its third season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in style with a fantastic podium finish in the debut event for the New Generation i20 WRC.
Thierry Neuville steered Hyundai Motorsport’s new rally car to third place overall after a competitive weekend from Jan. 22 to Jan. 25. The team had its sights set on securing third place for Thierry Neuville, as well as a top-six result for his Hyundai Shell World Rally team colleague Dani Sordo.
Dani Sordo had secured a trio of second place stage times, scoring points in the Power Stage, finally finishing in sixth place overall. The double top-six finish sees Hyundai Motorsport jointly lead the Manufacturers’ Championship with Volkswagen Motorsport on 25 points apiece.
For Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, third place in Monte-Carlo – his best result in the rally so far – marks a welcome return to the podium and brings his tally of Hyundai Motorsport podiums to six. Thierry Neuville nursed his car home after experiencing transmission problems in the final stage but made it back to service in Monaco to celebrate the podium result with the Hyundai Motorsport team.
Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville commented: “I am very excited and pleased with our podium winning during the weekend. The New Generation i20 WRC has shown its high performance potential and it is good to be back on the podium, particularly after the difficulties we had at the end of last season. To register the first stage wins and now first podium with the new car is a great feeling and this result is for the whole team.”
Hyundai Motorsport entered the opening round of the 2016 Championship with its New Generation i20 WRC targeting an improvement to last year’s result and a fight for the podium. Thierry Neuville’s run to third is therefore a welcome result for the team, even if there’s more to come from the new car.
Overall Final Classification
- S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:49:53.1
- A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:54.5
- T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +3:17.9
- M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:47.7
- S. Lefebvre / G. Moreau (Citroën DS3 WRC) +7:35.6
- D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +10:35.5
- O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +11:39.9
- E. Evans / C. Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) +18:30.8
- E. Lappi / J. Ferm (ŠkodaFabia R5) +20:41.0
- A. Kremer / P. Winklhofer (ŠkodaFabia R5) +20:43.9
- H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +47:05.7
2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
Hyundai Motorsport 25 points / Volkswagen Motorsport 25 / Volkswagen Motorsport II 18 / M-Sport World Rally Team 12 / DMACK World Rally Team 8 / Hyundai Motorsport N 6