Hyundai Motorsport remains in the battle for victory at Rally Finland

Hyundai Motorsport remains in the battle for victory at Rally Finland

03.10.2021: .. with Ott Tänak just 9.1 seconds off the lead entering the final day • Craig Breen slipped back to third after picking up a small amount of damage in the afternoon, but still sits comfortably in the provisional podium positions

.. with Ott Tänak just 9.1 seconds off the lead entering the final day



•    Craig Breen slipped back to third after picking up a small amount of damage in the afternoon, but still sits comfortably in the provisional podium positions


•    Thierry Neuville was forced to retire his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on the day’s penultimate stage after damage to the car’s radiator caused a water leak.
 



Hyundai Motorsport produced another strong performance on day two of Rally Finland, solidifying a provisional double podium on the demanding gravel roads.

 


After dropping down to third position in the morning, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja regained second place overall on the afternoon loop, claiming stage victories on SS11, SS12, SS13 and SS15. Sat only 9.1s behind the rally leader heading into the final day of the event, the Estonian crew remains well in contention to stand on the top step of the podium for the second time in 2021.
 


Overnight leaders Craig Breen and Paul Nagle fell to second position during the morning loop, despite pushing hard in their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. In the afternoon, the Irishmen clipped a hay bale on SS11, damaging the front left wheel arch and unsettling the car’s aerodynamic balance. This contributed to the crew slipping back to third place by the conclusion of the day’s running, 19.5s off the lead.
 


Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe inherited fifth overall in the morning as a result of Kalle Rovanperä’s accident, but were forced to stop on SS14 after a compression broke the radiator and caused a water leak. Due to subsequent engine damage from the incident, the Belgians will not restart tomorrow.
 


Saturday’s schedule consisted of nine stages, covering a total competitive distance of 151.95km. The day began with a challenging four-stage morning loop: Kakaristo-Hassi (18.17km), Päijälä (22.61km), Arvaja (13.49km) and Patajoki (20.55km). Following an early afternoon service, the second loop of the day then took place, comprised of the same four stages as the morning’s running plus Harju (2.31km) – a shorter test that also opened the rally.
 


With only 45.74km left to complete on Sunday – and the top two separated by less than ten seconds – the battle for victory in the Finnish forests looks set to go down to the wire.
 



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


•    Estonians win four stages on afternoon loop
•    Second win of the season in touching distance
 

Tänak said: “The pace has been quite good today; I was trying hard on every stage. In the afternoon, the grip was higher so it was easier to manage the car and I could push a bit more.


I tried to put as much pressure as possible on Elfyn and push him hard, so that if he is able to win then it will be because he deserves it. But from first thing tomorrow morning we will try our best to battle for the victory.”
 



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


•    Relentless pace of competitors sees Irish crew lose lead
•    Duo remain on track for third consecutive podium
 

Breen said: “I’m really proud of what we’ve done so far, managing to do these two full days without making any mistakes and staying consistent, so we have to be happy with that. It’s slightly frustrating to lose some time to the top two, but it’s just the case of them having that little bit extra today.


It’s a short day tomorrow, but it’s one that still needs to be treated with respect. I would love to get another podium and make it three in a row, as that would be amazing for me and Paul. I’m looking forward to it.”
 



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

•    Crew in fifth before incident on SS14 forces Belgians to retire
•    Pair will not restart tomorrow as a result of damage

 

Neuville said: “Everything was going well, but a couple of kilometers into the stage on a fast left corner there was a compression which damaged the radiator. We immediately got a water pressure alarm and then three corners later I saw that the temperature was getting higher and higher, so we knew that it would be difficult to go to the end.


We tried our best to solve the issue, but the leak was too big and we had to retire the car. It is a shame as it had been a good day, but unfortunately there was nothing we could do.”
 




Team Principal Andrea Adamo sai
d: “It has been a complicated day, but the outlook is positive. Especially with Ott, the battle is still there and we are absolutely in a position to fight for the win tomorrow. Craig has a lost a bit of ground, but he has also had an amazing day.


It is a pity with Thierry, as his incident was something that happens once in a lifetime. However, we have to appreciate that this is the most competitive Hyundai has ever been in Finland, which is proof of the great job my people have done. I would like to thank the crews, engineers and mechanics for their strong effort that is allowing us to challenge for the win in a competitor’s land.”
 




Sunday at a glance




•    Four stages remain on the Rally Finland itinerary on Sunday, totalling a competitive distance of 45.74km


•    The crews will take on two passes of Laukaa (11.75km) and Ruuhimäki (11.12km) on the final day of the gravel event


•    The second pass of Ruuhimäki will act as the rally’s Power Stage, offering additional points to crews and manufacturers.




Classification after Day Two

 
1    E. Evans    S. Martin    Toyota Yaris WRC    1:57:46.7
2    O. Tänak    M. Järveoja    Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC    +9.1
3    C. Breen     P. Nagle    Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC    +19.5
4    E. Lappi    J. Ferm    Toyota Yaris WRC    +44.8
5    S. Ogier    J. Ingrassia    Toyota Yaris WRC    +1:23.7
6    G. Greensmith    C. Patterson    Ford Fiesta WRC    +4:16.9
7    A. Fourmaux    A. Coria    Ford Fiesta WRC    +5:31.5

 


 
Thomas Villette, Nicoletta Russo -photos Hyundai


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/hyundai-motorsport-remain-battle-victory-rally-finland-taenak---229329.html

03.10.2021 / MaP

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