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Hyundai Motorsport Takes WRC Podium Tally to 5

Hyundai Motorsport Takes WRC Podium Tally to 5

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After claiming its first win of the season in Argentina, Hyundai Motorsport has continued its stellar form in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with strong showings in Italy and Poland that saw it consolidate second place in the Manufacturers’ Standings.

 A relieved Paddon commented at the end of the rally: “That was too close for comfort. I struggled in the conditions this morning. The rain made the stages slippery and I had no confidence at all. We wanted to be relaxed, but I think we were probably too relaxed. Still, third is a great result and it’s fantastic to be back on the podium. A job well done by the team.”

The highlight was victory for Belgian crew Thierry Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) and Nicolas Gilsoul, who triumphed in Sardinia, Italy (June 9-12). Neuville put in the performance of his career with nine stage wins and a dominant rally overall.

 

Neuville commented after the race: “We’ve stuck together and our hard work has really paid off. Hopefully we can use this result as a springboard for the rest of the season; it is certainly good for the confidence.”
Meanwhile, the Kiwi crew of Hayden Paddon (#20 New Generation i20 WRC) and John Kennard followed up their victory in Argentina with a strong showing in Poland (June 30 – July 3), securing third place. The Belgians claimed fourth in that event, less than one second behind.

 

A relieved Paddon commented at the end of the rally: “That was too close for comfort. I struggled in the conditions this morning. The rain made the stages slippery and I had no confidence at all. We wanted to be relaxed, but I think we were probably too relaxed. Still, third is a great result and it’s fantastic to be back on the podium. A job well done by the team.”

In total, Hyundai Motorsport have now claimed five podium finishes as the WRC reaches its halfway point. Paddon sits third in the overall Drivers’ Standings, with Daniel Sordo (#4 New Generation i20 WRC) fifth and Neuville seventh. In the Manufacturers’ Standings, Hyundai Motorsport sits in second place, while Hyundai Motorsport N sits in fourth.

2016 FIA World Rally Championship Standings


Drivers

S. Ogier 96 points / A Mikkelsen 92 / H. Paddon 72 / J.M. Latvala 68 / D. Sordo 68 / M. Østberg 62 / T. Neuville 61 / O. Tanak 52 / K. Meeke 26 / E. Camili 23 / H. Solberg 14 / S. Lefebvre 12 / M. Prokop 12 / C. Green 10 / T. Suninen 7 / E. Evans 6 / M. S. Ligato 6 / L. Bertelli 4 / P. Tidemand 2 / E. Lappi 2 / N. Fuchs 2 / K. Abbring 2 / A. Kremer 1 / V. Gorban 1 / J. Kopecky 1

 

Manufacturers

Volkswagen Motorsport 196 points / Hyundai Motorsport 135 / M-Sport World Rally Team 100 / Volkswagen Motorsport II 99 / Hyundai Motorsport N 78 / DMACK World Rally Team 58 / Jipocar Czech National Team 18 / Yazeed Racing 4   

Joy in Argentina
Paddon’s victory in Argentina (April 21-24) was not just his debut WRC win, but also the maiden victory for Hyundai Motorsport’s New Generation i20 WRC in only its fourth outing.

Paddon saw his 29.8s lead from the Saturday night (April 23) reduced to just 2.6s after a tough two stages in SS16 (El Condor - Copina) and SS17 (Mina Clavero - Giulio Cesare). The foggy conditions in the opening stage forced drivers to take a cautious approach but, despite the mounting pressure, the Kiwi crew dug deep to produce the stage performance of the weekend in the repeat of El Condor.
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Paddon commented after the race: “I can’t believe it! I really didn’t think we were going to be able to hang on. It all came down to the Power Stage and we pushed really hard. It was particularly special to pull out that performance on El Condor. We’ve worked a lot on that stage because I’ve not been particularly strong on the tight and twisty stages. We drove the wheels off the car. It’s a lot to take in at the moment. It’s a fantastic result for me, John and the whole team. A huge amount of work has gone into the New Generation i20 WRC. I knew from the first test that we could win with it. I just didn’t quite expect it to be so soon. Everyone in the team, at the rallies and at Alzenau thoroughly deserves this result. I am sure it’s the start of a lot more to come! I am thankful for everyone who has supported us back home in NZ and for all the positive messages we’ve received this weekend.”

Team Principal Michel Nandan said at the time: “This is a rally weekend that we will never forget! Hayden has put in the performance of his career to take one of the most popular victories we’ve seen in WRC in recent times. His pace and commitment in the Power Stage was impressive; he and John both deserve this win. It’s fantastic for all of us at Hyundai Motorsport. It is our second win in WRC but the first with our New Generation i20 WRC in only its fourth event. We’ve worked so hard on this car so to see the fruit of our work is very special. All our drivers and team members can share in this moment.”