Hyundais Double Podium Delight In Rally Italia Sardegna

Hyundai’s Double Podium Delight in Rally Italia Sardegna

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Hyundai Motorsport is celebrating a sensational finish at Rally Italia Sardegna, the sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season, where Ott Tänak clinched victory on the final stage by a mere two-tenths of a second. The Estonian driver had been closing in on rally leader Sébastien Ogier throughout the day, with their…

Hyundais Double Podium Delight In Rally Italia Sardegna

Hyundai Motorsport is celebrating a sensational finish at Rally Italia Sardegna, the sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season, where Ott Tänak clinched victory on the final stage by a mere two-tenths of a second.

The Estonian driver had been closing in on rally leader Sébastien Ogier throughout the day, with their intense battle seeming to favor Ogier as they approached the Power Stage. However, this unpredictable rally had one final twist: a puncture for Ogier shifted the advantage back to Tänak at the crucial moment. This remarkable result equaled the 2011 Jordan Rally for the closest-ever finish in WRC history and marked the seventh win for the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team in Sardinia.

This triumph also signified Hyundai Motorsport’s second consecutive double podium finish, with Dani Sordo and Cándido Carrera securing third place in their Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid. Meanwhile, Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe topped the Super Sunday standings with a superb recovery from their Saturday setbacks.

Sunday featured two special stages, each run twice: Cala Flumini (SS13/15, 12.55 km) and Sassari-Argentiera (SS14/16, 7.10 km). The Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team started strong, with Neuville refusing to let the disadvantage of being first on the road hinder his mission to score maximum points. Two stage wins in the morning loop placed the Belgian at the top of the Super Sunday standings.

Tänak was equally formidable, securing two second-fastest times in SS13 and SS14, solidifying a Hyundai Motorsport 1-2 in stage standings. Another stage win for Tänak on SS15 reduced the gap to just 6.2 seconds as they headed into the Power Stage.

Neuville’s early benchmark on SS16 proved untouchable, as worsening conditions on the stage affected later runners. This allowed the Belgian to claim full Power Stage and Super Sunday points, maintaining his position at the top of the drivers’ championship.

Tänak’s victory, his first of the 2024 season and the team’s 30th in the FIA World Rally Championship, elevated him to joint second place in the drivers’ standings. Sordo maintained a solid pace on Sunday, securing crucial points for the team’s battle in the manufacturers’ championship, extending Hyundai Motorsport’s lead to 13 points.

Crew Notes

Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja

Tänak remarked, “I’m feeling so many emotions right now. I’m very sorry for Seb to lose a win like this, it is cruel. I have been in the exact same position, having a ‘safe’ victory taken away from me a couple of years ago. It’s been a tough weekend, but it is great to finish with such a strong result. Let’s see what the next rallies will bring; we’re moving into the second half of the season and we’re definitely in the game.”

Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera

Sordo commented, “It wasn’t the easiest of days; Elfyn was having a good run and making good progress, so he was pushing us to the very end. In the final stage, I just tried to survive; it was completely destroyed and very hard on the car. We finish on the podium, which makes me very happy. It has been a joy to be back in the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid for these two events, which I enjoy so much, and I am pleased to bring home a great result for the team.”

Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe

Neuville said, “We did the job we needed to do today, but we are frustrated with what happened yesterday. We were managing the conditions well; the speed was good, and we felt comfortable and fast. I just lost focus for a fraction of a second, and there was no way to continue. I’m not very proud of the weekend as a whole but I take pride in our performance on Friday and today, as well as in the team for a great result today. Now we turn to Poland, where I have won before – we have shown great improvements last year in Estonia and Finland, so I am looking forward to it.”

Hyundai Motorsport President and Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul
Abiteboul stated, “It is obviously a very emotional finish here today. It looked like the win would once again escape from our grasp after Ott wisely decided to play it safe yesterday. However, today’s result showed that you can combine a smart approach to a rally with strong skills and the right momentum at the perfect time, resulting in a great win. It is a fantastic moment for him in his return to the team. This is a strong step in the championship, and an excellent team result with Dani on the podium. He did exactly what we expected of him for the team this weekend and it’s great to see them both on that podium, underscoring our competitiveness.

“Finally, Thierry has once again demonstrated his very commanding speed in any road position, including today when the motivation level was very high to make up for the loss and disappointment of yesterday. Obviously, we need to make sure that mistakes are as limited as possible as we expect this championship to continue to be very competitive until the end. There is even more to celebrate today, with our cars locking out the TCR class podium at the Nürburgring 24 Hours – we send our congratulations to our colleagues there for a phenomenal result.”

Next Rally at a Glance

Rally Poland will make its highly anticipated return to the WRC calendar from June 27 to 30 on the fast gravel roads that last featured in 2017, when Thierry Neuville led a Hyundai Motorsport 1-2 finish.

Final Results – Rally Italia Sardegna

  1. O. Tänak / M. Järveoja – Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid – 3:06:06
  2. S. Ogier / V. Landais – Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid – +0.2
  3. D. Sordo / C. Carrera – Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid – +2:25.8
  4. E. Evans / S. Martin – Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid – +2:37.8
  5. G. Munster / L. Louka – Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid – +6:42.9
  6. S. Pajari / E. Mälkönen – Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 – +7:13.4
  7. Y. Rossel / B. Boulloud – Citroën C3 – +7:45.7
  8. J. Solans / R. Sanjuan – Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 – +7:52.7
  9. M. Prokop / M. Ernst – Škoda Fabia RS – +10:05.4
  10. K. Kajetanowicz / M. Szczepaniak – Škoda Fabia RS – +10:09.3

WRC Manufacturers’ Championship Standings

Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team – 269
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team – 256
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team – 131

WRC Drivers’ Championship Standings

T. Neuville – 122
O. Tänak – 104
E. Evans – 104
S. Ogier – 92
A. Fourmaux – 74
T. Katsuta – 52
K. Rovanpera – 36
D. Sordo – 27
E. Lappi – 23
G. Munster – 16


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