- Hyundai Motorsport has claimed a podium finish in Rally Australia, the final round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with Thierry Neuville in third place
- Hayden Paddon took fourth with Dani Sordo just 1.6s behind in fifth. Neuville and Sordo both picked up extra points for finishing second and third respectively in the Power Stage
- The result secures second in the Drivers’ Championship for Neuville after a hard-fought weekend, while the team scored its 12th individual podium result of 2016.
- Hyundai Motorsport has completed the final round of the 2016 WRC with a strong podium finish as Thierry Neuville claimed third place on a dramatic final day in Rally Australia.
All three New Generation i20 WRC crews finished inside the top-five with Hayden Paddon taking fourth for the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team just 1.6s ahead of Dani Sordo in the #20 Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team entry. Neuville and Sordo both picked up additional points as they finished second and third in the Power Stage.
The result has enabled Neuville to secure second place in the closely contested Drivers’ Championship. The Belgian’s fifth consecutive podium finish, and seventh in total for the season, leaves him with 160 points, six clear of his nearest challenger - and Rally Australia winner - Andreas Mikkelsen.
Today’s result represents the tenth rally out of 13 in which Hyundai Motorsport has taken a podium with the New Generation i20 WRC this season. Having already confirmed second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship at the last round, the team completes its third and most competitive season in WRC with two victories, twelve individual podium results, 47 stage wins and 24 Power Stage points.
Sunday’s itinerary has covered five stages over a distance of 57.18km. Two passes through 6.20km Settles Reverse and 6.44km Wedding Bells in addition to a solitary run through the 31.90km Bucca stage have offered a stern test to crews on this final day of the 2016 Championship.
For Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) and Nicolas Gilsoul, who also secured second place in the Co-Drivers’ Championship with today’s result, it was a fitting end to a competitive season. A podium in Monte-Carlo, victory in Sardinia and then consecutive top-three results from Germany right through Australia, it’s been a memorable 2016 for the Belgian crew.
Paddon (#4 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver John Kennard had a frustrating end to their season. With a clear intent to fight for victory, the Kiwis ran wide in the 31.90km Bucca stage this morning, causing damage to their rear tyre. The resultant time loss dropped them down to fifth, but a determined comeback saw them move back up a place by the end of the rally.
Sordo (#20 New Generation i20 WRC) and co-driver Marc Martí ended their 2016 season with a Power Stage point and just 16 seconds off the podium. Considering their 20-second time penalty on Friday, the Spanish crew are left wondering what might have been this weekend.
Rally Australia represented the final WRC outing for the New Generation i20 WRC car with new technical regulations and a brand new car being introduced for the 2017 Championship. With two wins and second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship, 2016 has been Hyundai Motorsport’s most competitive season in the WRC, topped off with the team’s maiden Australian top-three result.
Overall Final Classification
1. A. Mikkelsen / A. Jager (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:46:05.7
2. S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +14.9
3. T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +1:12.6
4. H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +1:26.7
5. D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +1:28.3
6. M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:41.5
7. O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:04.3
8. E. Lappi / J. Ferm (Škoda Fabia R5) +7:32.3
9. J. M. Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +7:56.9
10. L. Bertelli / S. Scattolin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +8:00.1
2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
S. Ogier 268 points / T. Neuville 160 / A. Mikkelsen 154 / H. Paddon 138 / D. Sordo 130 / J. M. Latvala 112 / M. Østberg 102 / O. Tanak 88 / K. Meeke 64 / C. Breen 36 / E. Camilli 28 / E. Lappi 16 / S. Lefebvre 14 / H. Solberg 14 / M. Prokop 12 / K. Abbring 10 / T. Suninen 8 / P. Tidemand 8 / J. Kopecky 7 / M. Ligato 6 / E. Evans 6 / L. Bertelli 5 / N. Fuchs 2 / A. Kremer 2 / V. Gorban 1 / K. Kruuda 1
2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
Volkswagen Motorsport 377 points / Hyundai Motorsport 312 / Volkswagen Motorsport II 163 / M-Sport World Rally Team 162 / Hyundai Motorsport N 146 / DMACK World Rally Team 98 / Jipocar Czech National Team 18 / Yazeed Racing 4 All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.