Hyundai Motorsport Set For Sardinia Showdown

Hyundai Motorsport Set for Sardinia Showdown

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Hyundai Motorsport is set to continue its impressive form at Rally Italia Sardegna from May 31 to June 2, marking the sixth round of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season. Fresh off their first double-podium of the season at Rally de Portugal, the team is eager to maintain this momentum. Rally Italia Sardegna,…

Hyundai Motorsport Set For Sardinia Showdown

Hyundai Motorsport is set to continue its impressive form at Rally Italia Sardegna from May 31 to June 2, marking the sixth round of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season. Fresh off their first double-podium of the season at Rally de Portugal, the team is eager to maintain this momentum.

Rally Italia Sardegna, like round five, features fast gravel stages that transition between wide and narrow roads. Despite the stunning Mediterranean backdrop, the rally is anything but serene. Deep ruts and intense heat test both drivers and their machines, while the abrasive surface conditions make tyre choice critical, balancing reliability, longevity, and speed.

The Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team will be represented by the same line-up as in Portugal: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe, Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja, and Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera. All three pairs delivered strong performances on the Iberian roads, skillfully navigating the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid cars to avoid major incidents. This led to podium finishes for Neuville/Wydaeghe and Tänak/Järveoja, with Sordo/Carrera finishing just behind in fifth place.

Aiming for a repeat or even better results, Hyundai Motorsport is well-prepared for Rally Italia Sardegna, an event where they have historically excelled. Since 2014, the team has secured six victories, 14 podium finishes, and 88 stage wins on the island.

This year’s event introduces a new format, with competitive stages condensed into a 48-hour period. The action begins with Shakedown on Friday morning and concludes with the podium ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The 16 stages span a total of 266.12 km, demanding that the Hyundai crews push their i20 N Rally1 Hybrid cars to the maximum and make every kilometer count.

Hyundai Motorsport president and team principal Cyril Abiteboul remarked, “Portugal was another positive step forward for us. From the double podium to leading the manufacturers’ championship, and Ott feeling more comfortable with the car, there was much to celebrate. We head to Sardinia with confidence, knowing our crews can perform strongly on gravel.”

Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe

Neuville commented, “Rally Italia Sardegna is highly technical, requiring precise pace notes and a solid setup. The stages can change drastically between the first and second pass, necessitating adaptability. The heat, tyre wear, and long days present significant challenges, compounded by limited sleep due to long road sections. The absence of a pre-event test and a non-representative Shakedown are our biggest hurdles.”

Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja

Tänak said, “We had a solid weekend in Portugal and aim to build on that in Sardinia. The rally presents major challenges, including slippery conditions and high temperatures. Managing tyre wear over two loops adds difficulty, requiring a setup with strong traction, especially when starting early on the road. Sardinia’s complexity makes rallying more engaging, which I always prefer.”

Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera

Sordo added, “Sardinia’s surface is similar to Portugal’s but slightly more slippery. The last round provided good preparation with valuable gravel kilometers. This year’s condensed format demands a fast start to secure the best road position for Saturday. Precision is crucial due to narrow passes, requiring extra grip for safe navigation.”

Weekend at a Glance

Rally Italia Sardegna kicks off on Friday, May 31, with Shakedown, followed by the Osilo – Tergu (25.65 km) special stage in the afternoon. Friday’s four competitive stages cover a total of 77.82 km. Saturday is the event’s longest day, with crews covering 149 km in 12 hours. The rally concludes on Sunday with four stages, including the 7.1 km Sassari – Argentiera 2 Power Stage.


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