Hyundai Motorsport Preview
WRC Round 2: Arctic Rally Finland.
- Hyundai Motorsport is aiming to fight for victory at the second round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Arctic Rally Finland, this weekend
- The full-snow event marks a brand-new challenge on the WRC calendar, taking place in sub-zero temperatures on frozen Arctic Circle routes
- Three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars will battle the winter elements with Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja, and Craig Breen/Paul Nagle
Hyundai Motorsport is banking on a strong performance at Arctic Rally Finland, the second round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), taking place on February 26-28.
The all-new event on the WRC calendar sees the team head into the unknown at the only full-snow event of the season. Held in the Rovaniemi region, temperatures can dip below -30°C while reduced daylight hours mean some stages will take place in darkness.
As well as having to create their pace notes from scratch, crews will face a true challenge on the frozen Arctic Circle roads. Ten stages cover 251.08km of competitive distance; snowbanks and studded tyres will be key elements to a successful run in what is likely to be one of the fastest events of the year.
Hyundai Motorsport will be targeting a more competitive performance than at last month’s season-opener, Rallye Monte-Carlo, in which the team claimed a third-place podium finish with the new partnership of Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe.
The Belgians (#11) will be one of three Hyundai Motorsport crews to battle the elements in the inaugural Arctic Rally Finland. Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (#8) will be hoping for better fortunes than they experienced in Monte, while Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (#42) take part in their first WRC outing of the new season. Each of the three crews has tested the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in extreme conditions ahead of the event, which begins with shakedown on Friday morning.
After a ceremonial start in Rovaniemi, crews will head north to tackle the longest stage of the event twice. Saturday covers over half the competitive distance of the rally, with two loops of three stages to the east of the service park. Two stages make up Sunday’s agenda; extra points are on offer in the closing Power Stage for the drivers’ and manufacturers’ battles.
Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “It’s no secret that our season didn’t begin in the way we had planned in Monte-Carlo. Arctic Rally Finland gives us the opportunity to rectify this. All three drivers have finished on the podium in previous full-snow events, so we know they are capable of great speed in tricky conditions. A brand-new event is an exciting challenge, but there is no room for resting on laurels. We will have to be at the top of our game on all three days – nothing less than victory will be a good result.”