WRC Round 3.
Rally México report.
- Hyundai Motorsport has secured its third podium result of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) as Rally México was brought to an early conclusion
- Ott Tänak picked up his second runner-up result in a row after another competitive performance in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
- Thierry Neuville salvaged some points for the team’s manufacturers’ championship after re-starting the rally following electrical problems
Hyundai Motorsport has taken its third consecutive podium finish of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), as Rally México was brought to an early conclusion at the end of Saturday’s scheduled itinerary.
Organisers opted to bring forward the end of the rally in the face of fast-changing travel restrictions connected with the global COVID-19 virus outbreak, a decision fully supported by Hyundai Motorsport. With 20 of the scheduled 24 stages completed since Thursday – SS8 (Ortega 2) was cancelled on Friday – full championship points have been awarded.
Estonian crew Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja picked up their second consecutive runner-up finish for Hyundai Motorsport in their first full gravel event in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. The pair demonstrated impressive pace over the weekend – taking six stage wins – and would almost certainly have been in victory contention were it not for a small mistake on Friday morning’s loop.
Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul were forced to relinquish their battle for the Mexican podium yesterday with electrical problems. Similar gremlins recurred on Saturday’s opening loop, but the Belgians battled valiantly in a bid to secure points for the team’s manufacturers’ campaign.
What would become the final day of the rally covered nine stages over a distance of 133.74km – the longest day of the event. A repeat loop of Guanajuatito (24.96km), Alfaro (16.99km) and Derramadero (21.78km) was followed by two more runs through the Autodromo Shell V-Power stage and the 1.62km Rock & Rally León.
The two remaining Hyundai Motorsport crews added more stage wins to their respective tallies with Neuville leading a team 1-2 in SS14 (Alfaro 1) and SS19/SS20 (Autodromo Shell V-Power). Tänak did the same in SS17 (Alfaro) and SS18 (Derramadero). All in all, Hyundai registered 15 fastest times across three crews in Mexico this weekend, underscoring the potential the team had to fight for victory.
The final result sees Hyundai Motorsport cement second place in the manufacturers’ table on 89 points, with Neuville/Tänak third and fifth respectively on the drivers’ standings.
As a result of global developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), WRC Promoter has already announced that the 2020 Rally Argentina, round four of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), due to take place between April 23 - 26, has been postponed. As it stands currently, the next round of the championship will be May 21-24 in Portugal.