Hyundai Motorsport registers double podium of 2016 in Rally de España

  • Hyundai Motorsport has scored one of its best-combined team results with two New Generation i20 WRCs on the podium in Spain and three inside the top-four.
  • Dani Sordo took second place, his second podium of the season, with Thierry Neuville claiming third for his fifth top-three finish of 2016
  • Hayden Paddon took fourth place, while Kevin Abbring scored his best WRC result to date in seventh - ensuring all four entered cars finished in the top-seven.

- Hyundai Motorsport has claimed its second double podium result and its tenth individual podium of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), scoring well-earned second and third positions.

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Home hero Dani Sordo started Sunday with a 5.8s deficit to rally leader Sébastien Ogier but he was forced to settle for second place overall after the final four stages. Second place for the Spanish crew equals their best result of the season, set in Rallye Deutschland back in August, and improves on their third place finish in Spain last year.

Thierry Neuville finished in third place, which was not only his fifth top-three result of 2016, but also his third consecutive podium this year which moves him up to second in the drivers’ championship - equal on points with Andreas Mikkelsen. Hayden Paddon took fourth place with Kevin Abbring, driving a 2015-spec i20 WRC, taking his best ever WRC finish in seventh.

Sunday’s final four asphalt stages - a repeat loop of the 19.30km Pratdip and 12.10km Duesaigües stages - started early in dark conditions. All crews were looking to make improvements after a strong showing on the opening two days.

Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí (#4 New Generation i20 WRC) gave their maximum in a bid to chase Ogier for the rally win. Unfortunately, the Spaniards couldn’t mount a stronger challenge but were still content to finish on the podium in front of their home fans. They also picked up an extra championship point for taking third in the rally-concluding Power Stage.

It’s been an incredible weekend and I cannot thank the fans enough for all the support. I can honestly say we did our best today but we just couldn’t do anything to stop Sébastien. I have to extend my congratulations to him. We wanted so much to take the win for the team and the fans but he was too strong. Still, to finish in second place after such a competitive event is something to be proud of. It’s our second podium of the season and we worked really hard for it. I have been generally very happy with the feeling we’ve had in the car, both on gravel and asphalt. The team has done a fantastic job to prepare a competitive car, and it’s very encouraging that the overall result has been so positive for everyone at Hyundai Motorsport.

Dani Sordo

Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul adopted a cautious approach to the final stages in order to pick up important points for the Championship. The momentum from the Belgian's third consecutive podium sees him move up to second on the drivers’ classification, equal on points with Andreas Mikkelsen.

Paddon (#20 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver John Kennard have made steady progress during the entire rally weekend. The Kiwi crew picked up a couple of top-two stage times on Sunday morning to cement their fourth place overall, which is their best ever WRC result on tarmac. For Abbring (#10 Hyundai i20 WRC) and co-driver Seb Marshall, Rally de España has delivered a WRC career-best seventh position.

Making improvements to their car on each day, the crew has more than achieved their pre-event objectives of a points-scoring position. Hyundai Motorsport now has a total of ten podiums to its name this season after a competitive outing in Spain. The team has amassed three stage wins, two 1-2s and a total of nine second-places this weekend with all four crews enjoying standout moments.

The FIA World Rally Championship now moves onto Wales Rally GB, the penultimate round of the season, which takes place from 27-30 October.

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