- Hyundai Motorsport is fielding a three-car WRC entry into Tour de Corse with the target of taking the team’s first ever podium in Corsica
- Three New Generation i20 R5 cars will also be taking part, including an entry for the team’s test crew Kevin Abbring and Seb Marshall
- Hyundai Motorsport currently holds second in the WRC Manufacturers’ standings on 201 points, 55 behind leaders Volkswagen Motorsport with four rallies remaining.
- Hyundai Motorsport returns to competitive action next week as the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) moves onto round ten, Tour de Corse, held on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.
For Hyundai Motorsport, the event represents a significant milestone with three New Generation i20 WRC cars entered, and three New Generation i20 R5 models also participating in the Championship for the first time.
The team has enjoyed a competitive 2016 season to date with two victories (Argentina, Sardinia) and five further podiums (Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Poland, Germany x2). It’s a trend that the three WRC crews plan to continue in Corsica.
Following the double podium on home soil in Germany last month, Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul will once again line up in the #3 New Generation i20 WRC with Dani Sordo and Marc Martí in the #4. Hayden Paddon and John Kennard will return to the #20, representing the Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team.
Having been absent since 2008, the return of Tour de Corse to the WRC calendar last year was hampered by heavy rain that forced the cancellation of two stages. This year’s running has seen a number of location changes with Bastia replacing Corte as the rally’s hub, the west coast town of Ajaccio playing host to the ceremonial start and Porto-Vecchio hosting the Power Stage.
The rally itinerary has also seen significant alterations. 70% of the stages are new and the total stage distance is 20% longer. Despite still only having ten special stages - the fewest on the calendar - Tour de Corse is second only to Rally Mexico in terms of its total competitive distance - 390.92km. It is a tight and twisty event with spectacular narrow mountain roads, abrasive tarmac and best summarised by its nickname as the ‘rally of 10,000 corners’.
Friday’s Tour de Corse schedule covers 157km of special stages with the added challenge of teams not having a midday service. Saturday is the longest of the three days and includes two runs through the 53.72km Orezza-La Porta-Valle di Rostino stage. 169km will be covered on the middle day. The final morning comprises just two stages - but includes the longest of the entire rally, 53.78km Antisanti-Poggio di Nazza, which will prove decisive ahead of the 10.42km rally-concluding Power Stage.