Hyundai Motorsport Report WRC round 7: Rally Estonia.
Hyundai Motorsport has claimed a double podium finish in Rally Estonia, the seventh round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with Craig Breen and Thierry Neuville cementing a strong team result.
For Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle, second place matches their result from Estonia 2020 and equals their best performance for Hyundai Motorsport. Finishing just behind in third position, Neuville and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe scored their fifth podium result of the season.
Estonians Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja saw their hopes of a home victory dashed on Friday as they were forced to retire due to a double puncture in SS4, however there was no doubting their speed and talent on local gravel roads. The crew added a further four stage wins to their total on Sunday morning, including two tied with Neuville, to bring their total for the weekend to eleven.
The final day wasn’t without drama with six tricky tests left to run. A loop of three stages, including Neeruti (7.82km), Elva (11.72km) and Tartu vald (6.51km), was tackled twice, with the latter held as the all-important Power Stage.
Neuville took four stage wins on Sunday, two of them equal with Tänak, to bring the team’s total to 18 for the weekend, underscoring the pace and performance of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. The Belgian also experienced late technical drama ahead of the penultimate test, which caused him to check-in late into the stage and incurred a ten-second penalty. Thankfully, he had built enough of a buffer to Sébastien Ogier to hold onto his hard-fought podium result.
Tänak and Neuville led a Hyundai 1-2 in the Power Stage to add important points for the championship, with Hyundai Motorsport holding second in the classification on 256 points, 59 points from the lead and four rallies remaining.