- Hyundai Motorsport has achieved another podium finish in Wales Rally GB, the penultimate round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
- Thierry Neuville fended off team-mate Hayden Paddon to secure his sixth podium of the season and fourth in a row after Germany, Corsica and Spain
- The result secures Hyundai Motorsport second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship - the team’s best ever result in WRC.
- Hyundai Motorsport has added another podium to its list of 2016 achievements after securing third place in Wales Rally GB, the penultimate round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
The result means that Hyundai Motorsport has secured second place in the WRC Manufacturers’ Championship behind Volkswagen Motorsport with one rally still to run. It is the team’s best result having finished fourth in its debut season in 2014 and narrowly missing out on second place last year. Third place in this weekend’s rally also marks the first Wales podium for the team in its third season of WRC after two previous fourth-place finishes.
At the end of 22 competitive stages, run over a total distance of 330km, Thierry Neuville was able to defend a hard-fought third position from team-mate Hayden Paddon. The Belgian also picked up an additional Championship point for claiming the third fastest time in the rally-concluding Power Stage.
Paddon finished the event in fourth position, just under 20 seconds behind Neuville, his personal best result in Wales Rally GB. Dani Sordo ensured all three New Generation i20 WRCs completed the tricky Welsh event inside the top-six with a steady run to sixth.
The final morning saw crews tackle six stages on the notoriously challenging and slippery Welsh gravel. The 7.70km Clocaenog, 10.41km Alwen and 7.93km Brenig stages all posed their own tests with the latter of the three acting as the Power Stage. Against a backdrop of autumnal colour, all three Hyundai Motorsport crews negotiated the muddy stages cleanly and without any major issues.
For Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, third place signifies their sixth podium of the season, and fourth in a row. Another strong collection of points moves them clearly into second position on the Drivers’ Championship with 143 points, 14 ahead of third-placed Andreas Mikkelsen.
Like in Spain, Paddon (#20 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver John Kennard only narrowly missed out on a podium finish. Despite a tough weekend, the Kiwi crew took their best Wales Rally GB result and hold fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, just three points adrift of third.
It’s been a disappointing rally for Sordo (#4 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Marc Martí after their second-place finish in Spain a fortnight ago. Sixth place, however, consolidates Sordo’s own fifth place in the Drivers’ table – only 10 points from third in the Championship standings.
Neuville’s third place means that Hyundai Motorsport has now taken 11 podiums in total this season, finishing in the top-three in nine out of the 12 events held. The team has confirmed its second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship on 285 points with Neuville, Paddon and Sordo all inside the top-five on the Drivers’ classification.
Rally Australia will bring the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship to its conclusion in three weeks’ time, taking place from 17-20 November.