• Hyundai Motorsport has taken its best-ever result in Rally México as Dani Sordo claimed second place, the team’s third individual podium result of the 2018 season
• The team has achieved its pre-event objective of extending its lead in the FIA World Rally Championship manufacturers’ standings as Andreas Mikkelsen finished fourth
• Thierry Neuville completed a tough rally in sixth overall, having started each day as first on the road. Both he and Mikkelsen scored Power Stage points
Mexico, March 11, 2018 – Hyundai Motorsport has secured its most competitive finish on the gruelling gravel stages of Rally México, as Dani Sordo picked up his first podium of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a strong run to second.
The Spaniard, along with co-driver Carlos del Barrio, has been on impressive form all weekend, registering three stage wins and being in victory contention for much of the event. In their second WRC round of 2018, the #6 crew led three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars inside the top-six with Andreas Mikkelsen finishing just off the podium in fourth and Thierry Neuville in sixth.
The combined team result has helped Hyundai Motorsport to extend its lead in the WRC manufacturers’ championship. With points awarded for second and fourth, the team has built up a 12-point advantage after three rounds, its most competitive start to a WRC season.
Keep the pressure on
Sunday’s final stages saw plenty more of the drama that has epitomised an exciting Rally México all weekend. Crews tackled the 24.32km Alfaro stage followed by two timed runs through the 11.07km Las Minas test.
Starting the day third overall, Sordo’s focus was on securing a podium, with an eye on pushing for second place. An incident for Citroën’s Kris Meeke on the opening stage helped the Spaniard, as he was elevated into the position. Fourth placed Mikkelsen closed the gap to Meeke but the Norwegian ran into his own difficulties in the rally’s penultimate stage, getting briefly stuck in a ditch on SS21.
Neuville continued to gain experience of being first on the road on Sunday. The Belgian battled through to a solid sixth place, overcoming a number of issues during the weekend. In a closely fought Power Stage, with 1.4-seconds splitting the top-four times, Neuville took three extra points for third place with Mikkelsen taking two points for fourth.
Second place in the first gravel event of the season marks an improvement on the team’s previous third-place Mexican podiums, achieved by Neuville in 2014 and 2017.
Crew Notes: Sordo/Del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
• First podium of 2018 and Sordo’s best result since Spain 2016
• Seventh podium in total as a Hyundai Motorsport driver
Sordo said: “I am very happy to score this podium after what has been an enjoyable, competitive but tough weekend. We have shown good pace here in previous seasons, so I was optimistic that we would be able to fight for the top-three this weekend. It wasn’t entirely straightforward; even in the Power Stage there was a scary moment when we picked up a rear right puncture. With stones in the middle of the road, it was so easy for something to happen so we backed off and took it carefully to the end. A podium result is so important and we made the most of our road position in these really tricky gravel stages. It’s been a good team effort and I am particularly pleased to see us increase our lead in the manufacturers’ championship. Thanks to Carlos and to the whole team for this result.”
Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
• Second fourth-place for Norwegians as Hyundai Motorsport crew
• Stage win in Saturday evening’s SS19 and Power Stage points
Mikkelsen said: “It has not been an easy rally for us, and we haven’t really been able to find the optimum pace or performance that we needed here. We made some changes to the car in service on Saturday evening, and I felt more comfortable in this morning’s final stages. We weren’t really in a position to improve, so we simply tried to keep things clean and tidy. There were definitely areas where we could have attacked more, but finishing fourth gives us important points. As a team we have increased our lead in the manufacturers’ table, and I have also moved up to third in the drivers’ classification, which is a positive to take away.”
Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
• Sixth place scores valuable driver points for the Belgian’s championship
• Scored three additional points for third in Power Stage
Neuville said: “We approached the final morning of the rally determined to score as many points as possible for the drivers’ championship. I gave it all I could in the Power Stage, and I’m happy to take three extra points away from what has been a very tough weekend. Starting first on the road each day was far from ideal, but that’s part of the game. It was actually a useful experience to deal with those conditions, despite the obvious time disadvantage. We had some other issues over the weekend, so to come away with sixth place and to keep up the pressure in the championship is important. Thanks to everyone in the team. We have a never-give-up mentality, and Corsica will be another story.”
Another one in the dust
• 35th team podium and best-ever result in Rally México
• Extending lead of manufacturers’ championship with strong team result
Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We have witnessed once again just how tough Rally México can be, with lots of drama right up to the Power Stage! We are delighted to finish the weekend with our best ever Mexico result and to increase our lead of the manufacturers’ championship. Dani and Carlos have had a strong weekend, and it’s great to see them on the podium. Andreas and Thierry both picked up important points in the Power Stage, concluding a generally positive rally. Like all teams, we’ve had some issues to deal with along the way, but finishing with all three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars inside the top-six in such a demanding event is very encouraging.”
• The FIA World Rally Championship moves back to tarmac in a few weeks’ time
• Corsica hosts the fourth round of the season from 5-8 April for the popular Tour de Corse
• Hyundai Motorsport will return to the Mediterranean island as defending winners
Final Overall Classification - Rally Mexico
1 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC 3:54:08.0
2 D. Sordo C. del Barrio Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:03.6
3 K. Meeke P. Nagle Citroën C3 WRC +1:19.2
4 A. Mikkelsen A. Jæger Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:38.4
5 S. Loeb D. Elena Citroën C3 WRC +2:24.6
6 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +9:03.0
7 P. Tidemand J. Andersson Škoda Fabia R5 +10:24.7
8 J. M Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +15:37.1
9 G. Greensmith C. Parry Ford Fiesta R5 +17:09.3
10 P. Heller P. Olmos Ford Fiesta R5 +24:18.1
2018 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 3
1 S. Ogier 56
2 T. Neuville 52
3 A. Mikkelsen 35
4 K. Meeke 32
5 J.M Latvala 31
6 O. Tanak 26
7 E. Lappi 23
8 C. Breen 20
9 D. Sordo 18
10 H. Paddon 10
2018 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 3
1 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 84
2 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 72
3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 71
4 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 67
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.
About Hyundai Motor
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond. The company leads the Hyundai Motor Group, an innovative business structure capable of circulating resources from molten iron to finished cars. Hyundai Motor has eight manufacturing bases and seven design and technical centers worldwide and in 2017 sold 4.5 million vehicles globally. With more than 110,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with localized models and strives to strengthen its leadership in clean technology, starting with the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell electric vehicle and IONIQ, the world’s first model with three electrified powertrains in a single body type.
More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at:
http://worldwide.hyundai.com or http://globalpr.hyundai.com
Global PR Team / Hyundai Motor
+82 2 3464 2128