- Hyundai Motorsport has taken an unexpected victory and double podium finish in Rally Italia Sardegna, round eight of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
- Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio triumphed after a dramatic Power Stage in which leader Ott Tänak ran into trouble, handing victory to the Spaniards
- Andreas Mikkelsen overhauled Elfyn Evans initially for fourth place but moved up to third to make it a Hyundai Motorsport first and third
Hyundai Motorsport has taken its third victory of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) after a dramatic conclusion to Rally Italia Sardegna that saw Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio crowned winners.
The Spanish crew headed into the final morning aiming to secure second place after a competitive weekend. However, problems for rally leader Ott Tänak on the Power Stage saw the Estonian drop down the order. Having secured the runner-up position, Sordo was unexpectedly elevated to the top spot as a result of Tänak’s woes to claim his first victory for Hyundai Motorsport and the second WRC win of his career.
Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger-Amland had their sights set on fourth place but had to dig deep to overturn a 14-second deficit to Elfyn Evans. The Norwegians went about the challenge in style, taking a clean sweep of stage wins on the final morning. Their efforts were further rewarded as they moved up into third place to claim their second podium of 2019 as part of a Hyundai Motorsport 1-3.
Sunday’s itinerary included two runs through the 14.06km Cala Flumini and 6.89km Sassari-Argentiera stages, narrow, dusty and fast routes that put an emphasis on precision and commitment. The final run acted as the rally’s Power Stage, offering additional points towards the drivers’ championship with Mikkelsen scoring the maximum five points (for the first time since Spain 2015) and Thierry Neuville, who ended the rally in sixth place, picking up three extra points.
The surprise result sees Hyundai Motorsport extend its lead in the WRC manufacturers’ standings to 46 points over Toyota Gazoo Racing. Neuville retains third place in the drivers’ table on 143 points, three behind Sébastien Ogier and seven adrift of Tänak with six events left of the season.
Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- First victory as a Hyundai Motorsport driver, second of Spaniard’s career
- 25 points gives the team a much-needed boost in the manufacturers’ standings
Crew Notes: Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Amland (#89 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Clean sweep of stage wins including Mikkelsen’s first Power Stage win since Spain 2015
- Third place result marks crew’s second podium of 2019 season
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Sixth place and three extra Power Stage points keeps Neuville in drivers’ title chase
- Difficult weekend prevented Belgians from capturing their usual performance level
Team Director Andrea Adamo:“Personally, I find this result quite difficult to accept. Firstly, we extend our empathy to everyone at Toyota Gazoo Racing, to Tommi, Ott and Martin, for the cruel way that they had a deserved victory taken away from them. For the second time this season, we have inherited a victory that we did not earn on the road. We should not have to rely on unreliability to secure these results. I appreciate that I am perhaps looking at things too much through a sympathetic lens but this is the reality of the situation. At the same time, I am pleased for Dani and Carlos who have worked professionally all weekend, as have all our three crews, to put themselves in a position to capitalise on today’s situation.”
Final Overall Classification - Rally Italia Sardegna
|1||D. Sordo||C. del Barrio||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3:32:27.2|
|2||T. Suninen||J. Lehtinen||Ford Fiesta WRC||+13.7|
|3||A. Mikkelsen||A. Jæger-Amland||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+32.6|
|4||E. Evans||S. Martin||Ford Fiesta WRC||+33.5|
|5||O. Tänak||M. Järveoja||Toyota Yaris WRC||+1:30.1|
|6||T. Neuville||N. Gilsoul||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+2:16.7|
|7||E. Lappi||J. Ferm||Citroën C3 WRC||+2:59.6|
|8||K. Meeke||S. Marshall||Toyota Yaris WRC||+4:40.1|
|9||K. Rovanperä||J. Halttunen||Škoda Fabia R5||+8:24.6|
|10||J. Kopecky||P. Dresler||Škoda Fabia R5||+8:49.2|
2019 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings (after round 8)
2019 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings (after round 8)
|1||Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team||242|
|2||Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team||198|
|3||Citroën Total World Rally Team||170|
|4||M-Sport Ford World Rally Team||152|