Hyundai Motorsport WRC round 5: Rally Turkey.
- Hyundai Motorsport has registered a double podium in Rally Turkey, the fifth round of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
- Thierry Neuville finished in second place and took the maximum five Power Stage points, ahead of Sébastien Loeb, who claimed third overall - his first podium since Chile 2019.
- Ott Tänak brought his difficult Rally Turkey to a more positive conclusion with four Power Stage points, as the team maintains second in the manufacturers’ championship
Hyundai Motorsport has concluded Rally Turkey with a double podium finish on a dramatic final day in which both Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Loeb picked up punctures on the opening stage.
With the longest test of the entire event - the 38.15km Çetibeli - run twice on Sunday morning, in addition to the shorter 6.28km Marmaris test, it was never going to be a straight-forward finish to the rally. However, issues for the crews during the opening run were not a welcome addition to the script.
Overnight leaders Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul saw their 33-second advantage eradicated as they were forced to stop to change a tyre mid-stage. Loeb and Daniel Elena, too, were struck by tyre misfortune as they nursed their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC through the final kilometres with a puncture, losing over a minute of time. They weren’t the only crews to experience trouble in the first run through Çetibeli, which transformed the overall classification.
On the first pass through Marmaris, Neuville took an emphatic stage win to reclaim second overall, behind new rally leader Elfyn Evans, with Loeb in fourth overall - less than five seconds from the podium.
Heading into the repeat loop, all three Hyundai Motorsport crews - including the re-joining Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja - were aiming to make it through safely in a bid to secure the maximum manufacturer points possible. Another stage win for the Belgian crew - their sixth of the weekend - saw them consolidate second with Loeb moving into third following Sébastien Ogier’s retirement.
All eyes were on the Power Stage to see which drivers would add to their personal tallies. All three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC pairs were able to secure points with Neuville fastest, Tänak second and Loeb in fifth. All in all, Hyundai Motorsport crews took eight stage wins (seven for Neuville, one for Loeb) from a possible 12, including five 1-2s.
The final result marks Hyundai Motorsport’s 15th WRC double podium in total, and second in a row following the 1-2 in Estonia. Second place is Neuville’s second podium finish of 2020, and his first since winning Rallye Monte-Carlo. By taking third, Loeb has taken his first top-three finish since Rally Chile last year, while also confirming the team’s best result in Turkey following two consecutive third-place finishes in previous seasons.
In the manufacturers’ championship, second-placed Hyundai Motorsport keeps the pressure on with just a nine-point deficit to the leaders. Tänak lies third in the drivers’ table on 70 points, with Neuville fifth on 65.
Final Overall Classification – Rally Turkey
2020 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings (after round 5)