Hyundai Motorsport finished the first day of Rally Finland with a provisional 1-2 after six stages

Hyundai Motorsport finished the first day of Rally Finland with a provisional 1-2 after six stages

01.10.2021: • Craig Breen and Paul Nagle moved into the rally lead on the final run, held in darkness, having already scored two stages wins in SS2 and SS5 • Early leaders Ott Tänak and Martin Järjeova also took two fastest times as they hold second place overal

•    Craig Breen and Paul Nagle moved into the rally lead on the final run, held in darkness, having already scored two stages wins in SS2 and SS5


•    Early leaders Ott Tänak and Martin Järjeova also took two fastest times as they hold second place overall, only 2.8-seconds adrift of their team-mates.

 


Hyundai Motorsport has completed the opening day of Rally Finland, round ten of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with a provisional 1-2 after a competitive start on the high-speed gravel roads.
 


Against a backdrop of autumnal colours in the Finnish forests, crews tackled two slightly different loops, each consisting of three stages. An early morning shakedown in Vesala allowed Hyundai Motorsport’s three pairings to get acquainted with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on the notoriously fast roads.
 


Friday’s six stages were condensed into an afternoon-evening schedule, starting with the 2.31km Harju timed test that eased crews into an action-packed opening itinerary. The first loop continued with the longer Ässämäki (SS2/4, 12.31km) and Sahloinen-Moksi (SS3.5, 21.37km) stages.
 


With just a mid-afternoon tyre fitting zone splitting the loops, crews attacked the repeat of those two runs before Oittila (SS6, 19.75km) brought the day to a close in darkening conditions.
 


Craig Breen and Paul Nagle got their Rally Finland off to a flyer with a stage win in SS2, leading a Hyundai 1-2 as Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja moved into the rally lead. The stage positions were switched on the following run, as the team completed a strong opening loop.
 


The Estonians extended their advantage with another top time in SS4 before their Irish team-mates took the honours just one stage later. An exciting battle saw one final change on the last stage of the day – held in night conditions – as Breen and Nagle moved into the overall lead with a committed run in SS6. They concluded Friday’s schedule 2.8-seconds ahead of Tänak with Belgians Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe in sixth place.
 



Crew Notes: Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (#42 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)


•    Irish crew scored two stage wins (SS2 and SS5)
•    Moved into lead of Rally Finland after a strong run in the night stage (SS6)

 

 

Breen said: “It sounds pretty good to be rally leader this evening. We have had an amazing day and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. The stages are really nice, and especially the final one in the dark. I have always questioned what Finland would be like in night conditions and now we know – absolutely incredible!


The later runners were a bit more in darkness, and I actually had some moments at the start. We lost a bit of rhythm, missed a couple of junctions but nothing terrible; I enjoyed the last part inside the forest, and it was nice to see the time at the end. I think everyone is going to find a little something extra tomorrow, so we’ll try to take any opportunity that comes our way.”
 




Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (#8 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

•    Stage wins for the Estonian crew in SS3 and SS4 moved them into early lead
•    Completed Friday’s schedule in second overall, 2.8-seconds from their team-mates

 
Tänak said:
“It has been a surprisingly good day and very consistent. On the small narrow roads, we were a bit handicapped and lost a lot, but on the fast and flowing parts we were on the pace. The improvements in the car on these fast roads are down to the efforts of the team, who have be



en working hard; they’ve done their job well and the performance here is better than it has been for them in the past. My pre-event test was not fully representative, so I had to make some changes to the car to find some confidence. Thankfully, it was a better direction. Tomorrow, we have some tough stages and a long loop, so it’s definitely going to be the big day of the weekend.
 




Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

•    Belgians completed a trouble-free day from third on the road
•    Sixth place overall at the end of Friday’s running
 


Neuville said:
“From our side, the day was going quite ok, and we were in the fight up to the final night stage. I struggled to see the road at the end in the darkening conditions. I was quite fast in the first two splits, but the last section was very challenging, and I couldn’t commit as I would have liked.

Up to that point, I had a good rhythm in the car and could push, so if we can pick up that level of performance tomorrow then we’ll see what we can do. Nothing is lost yet. We have to try and do the best we can to close the gap and if not, then we’ll try to keep our position and enjoy the stages.”
 





Team Principal Andrea Adamo said:
“Clearly, it has been a complicated day, but we have seen an incredible fight between all the crews. We bring back a provisional 1-2 tonight which, all things considered, is a good start. We can see the battle is at the level of tenths rather than full seconds, so we must remain focused and well prepared.



Craig and Ott have done an amazing job, and I am sure Thierry will be able to catch back some of the performance that, for different reasons - including his starting position - he has not been able to show today. Overall, the level of competitiveness we have shown today makes me proud of our team and the job done to prepare for this rally”
 




Saturday at a glance




•    Nine stages will make up the itinerary for Rally Finland’s penultimate day, a total of 151.95km – by far the longest single-day distance of the weekend


•    Crews will tackle a repeat loop of four stages – Kakaristo-Hassi (SS7/11), Päijälä (SS8/12), Arvaja (SS9/13) and Patajoki (SS10/SS14) – followed by a shorter 2.31km Harju test


•    With over half of the entire rally distance covered on a solitary day, it could prove to be a decisive day of rally action on the fast Finnish roads.






Classification after Day One

 
1    C. Breen     P. Nagle    Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC    43:51.3
2    O. Tänak    M. Järveoja    Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC    +2.8
3    E. Evans    S. Martin    Toyota Yaris WRC    +6.1
4    E. Lappi    J. Ferm    Toyota Yaris WRC    +6.7
5    K. Rovanperä    J. Halttunen    Toyota Yaris WRC    +7.9
6    T. Neuville    M. Wydaeghe    Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC    +31.3
7    S. Ogier    J. Ingrassia    Toyota Yaris WRC    +33.6
8    T. Katsuta    A. Johnston    Toyota Yaris WRC    +46.9
9    G. Greensmith    C. Patterson    Ford Fiesta WRC    +1:20.6
10    A. Fourmaux    A. Coria    Ford Fiesta WRC    +1:48.9



 
Thomas Villette, Nicoletta Russo - photos Hyundai


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/hyundai-motorsport-finished-rally-finland-day-1-2-six-stages---229261.html

01.10.2021 / MaP

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