- Hyundai Motorsport has secured a podium finish in Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship, with Thierry Neuville finishing in third place
- Dani Sordo claimed second in the Power Stage and sixth overall, while Hayden Paddon registered a rally finish after a valuable learning weekend.
- The result gives the New Generation i20 WRC a debut podium in its maiden event after a positive rally for Hyundai Motorsport to start the team’s third season in WRC.
Fresh from a 1-2-3 stage result on Saturday afternoon, the team had its sights set on securing third place for Neuville on Sunday morning, as well as a top-six result for his Hyundai Shell World Rally team colleague Dani Sordo.
For Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, third place in Monte-Carlo – his best result in the rally so far - marks a welcome return to the podium and brings his tally of Hyundai podiums to six. The Belgian nursed his car home after experiencing transmission problems in the final stage but made it back to service in Monaco to celebrate the podium result with the Hyundai Motorsport team.
Sordo (#4 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Marc Martí put their early struggles with the new car well and truly behind them with a string of second-place stage times today. They moved into sixth place after an impressive run in SS14 (Col de l’Orme - St. Laurent 12.07km) and extended their grasp on the position during the morning, scoring two points in the Power Stage.
The focus for Paddon (#10 Hyundai i20 WRC) and John Kennard was to gather experience of MonteCarlo’s notoriously tricky stages. The Kiwi continued to do that in the final three stages, setting topsix stage times. Despite suffering damage to the differential in the Power Stage, Paddon completed his first Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Hyundai Motorsport entered the opening round of the 2016 Championship with its New Generation i20 WRC targeting an improvement on last year’s result and a fight for the podium. Neuville’s run to third is therefore a welcome result for the team, even if there’s more to come from the new car.
Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “We are all delighted to see the New Generation i20 WRC finish on the podium here in Monte-Carlo. It’s an important result for the entire team and it is the culmination of a lot of work from our colleagues in Alzenau. Thierry has had a competitive and consistent weekend, and it’s really fantastic to see him back where he belongs - on the podium. Dani made big improvements over the weekend and he had a positive morning, including scoring Power Stage points. Hayden did everything that was expected from him - and he can now tick Monte-Carlo off his list with valuable experience gained. We can’t rest on our laurels because there is much still to do. We will run three New Generation cars in Sweden and we are determined to continue improving. For now, though, we’ll savour a hard-fought and well-earned podium.”
Overall Final Classification
- 1. S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:49:53.1
- 2. A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:54.5
- 3. T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +3:17.9
- 4. M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:47.7
- 5. S. Lefebvre / G. Moreau (Citroën DS3 WRC) +7:35.6
- 6. D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +10:35.5
- 7. O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +11:39.9
- 8. E. Evans / C. Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) +18:30.8
- 9. E. Lappi / J. Ferm (Škoda Fabia R5) +20:41.0
- 10. A. Kremer / P. Winklhofer (Škoda Fabia R5) +20:43.9
- 25. H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +47:05.7
2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
S. Ogier 28 points / A. Mikkelsen 19 / T. Neuville 15 / M. Østberg 12 / S. Lefebvre 10 / D. Sordo 10 / O. Tanak 6 / E. Evans 4 / E. Lappi 2 / A. Kremer 1
2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
Volkswagen Motorsport 25 points / Hyundai Motorsport 25 / Volkswagen Motorsport II 18 / M-Sport World Rally Team 12 / DMACK World Rally Team 8 / Hyundai Motorsport N 6
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.