Rally Italia Sardegna, the seventh round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship, will be held from 8 to 11 June on the island of Sardinia.
Hyundai Motorsport has claimed its second double podium of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) on Sunday 22 May with Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo completing Rally de Portugal in second and third positions respectively.
It is Hyundai’s first-ever Portuguese podium finish and the sixth time in the team’s history where it has had two crews on the podium. It also continues Hyundai’s run of top-three finishes this year after a third in Mexico, a first and third place in Corsica, and victory at the previous round in Argentina.
All three Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team crews scored stage wins over the past weekend with Hayden Paddon and Neuville notching up four apiece, and Sordo also taking one. It is the first rally this season where all crews have achieved the feat and represent one of the team’s most successful rallies to date in terms of stage wins, with nine in total.
Starting Sunday’s final four stages, including two attempts at the legendary Fafe jump, Neuville and Sordo set about defending their positions. Paddon, on the other hand, having suffered technical issues on Friday and Saturday, went about showing his true credentials with some impressive times.
Neuville could do little to reduce the gap to eventual winner Sébastien Ogier, but finished the rally less than 16 seconds behind the reigning world rally champion. The Belgian continued his unbroken run of Power Stage points finishes, taking second in the concluding Fafe stage to score a total of 22 points.
With the weekend’s result, Hyundai Motorsport maintains second place in the manufacturer’s championship on 173 points, and keeps up the pressure on leaders M-Sport, who are 26 points ahead on 199. Neuville has moved into second place in the drivers’ championship, with a total of 106 after 6 rounds of the season.
Following two consecutive victories, Hyundai Motorsport recalibrated its targets for Portugal, where it had never previously scored a podium finish. With each season, the team has edged closer and closer so today’s second and third positions continue that trend. The team now has 26 individual WRC podiums in its history, and has taken a top-three finish in 12 of the 13 rally events on the calendar.
“We have achieved our objectives this weekend with two of our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars on the podium. Congratulations to Thierry and Nicolas, Dani and Marc on a good job this weekend. When Sébastien Ogier starts the final day with a 16-second advantage, you know it is going to be an easy gap for him to manage. We set about securing our second and third places, which the crews did comfortably, while also putting on a nice show for the many thousands of fans out on the stages,” said Team principal Michel Nandan.
“Hayden and Seb showed great pace this morning, too, with two stages wins to add to their collection from this weekend. It’s disappointing that we experienced two separate problems with their car over the weekend, which we need to investigate more deeply. We have lacked a bit of performance compared to our nearest rivals this weekend, but we can be satisfied to take our first Portuguese podiums. Sardinia will offer another challenge but we have happy memories from last season, which we will definitely want to repeat!”
Rally Italia Sardegna, the seventh round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship, will be held from 8 to 11 June on the island of Sardinia, where Hyundai Motorsport was victorious twelve months ago.
Final results, Rally de Portugal:
1. S. Ogier/J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC 3:42:55.7
2. T. Neuville/N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +15.6
3. D. Sordo/M. Martí Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:01.7
4. O. Tanak/M. Jarveoja Ford Fiesta WRC +1:30.2
5. C. Breen/S. Martin Citroën C3 WRC +1:57.4
6. E. Evans/D. Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC +3:10.6
7. J. Hänninen/K. Lindstrom Toyota Yaris WRC +3:48.9
8. M. Østberg/O. Floene Ford Fiesta WRC +5:29.7
9. J.M Latvala/M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +5:43.6
10. E. Lappi/J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC +8:13.3
2017 FIA World Rally Championship for drivers’ standings:
1. S. Ogier (128 points); 2. T. Neuville (106); 3. J.M. Latvala (88); 4. O. Tanak (83); 5. D. Sordo (66); 6. E. Evans (53); 7. C. Breen (43); 8. H. Paddon (33); 9. K. Meeke (27); 10. J. Hänninen (21).
2017 FIA World Rally Championship for manufacturers’ standings:
1. M-Sport World Rally Team (199)
2. Hyundai Motorsport (173)
3. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT (113)
4. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team (85)