Hyundai Motorsport experienced another challenging day in Monte-Carlo

Hyundai Motorsport experienced another challenging day in Monte-Carlo

23.01.2021: ...at the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season-opener, Rallye Monte-Carlo • Three stages on Saturday saw Thierry Neuville move up to fourth place, seven seconds from the podium, and taking a first stage win with co-driver Martijn Wydaeg

...at the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season-opener, Rallye Monte-Carlo




•    Three stages on Saturday saw Thierry Neuville move up to fourth place, seven seconds from the podium, and taking a first stage win with co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe


•    Ott Tänak was forced to retire after a double puncture in SS9 and SS10, with no opportunity to re-join on Sunday, while Dani Sordo holds fifth place.

 


Hyundai Motorsport has endured mixed fortunes on the penultimate day of Rallye Monte-Carlo, the first event of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship.
 


In his debut WRC event with new co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe, last year’s Monte-Carlo winner Thierry Neuville moved within seven seconds of the podium positions, taking a stunning stage win in SS10 (Saint-Clément - Freissinières).
 


Sadly, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja were forced to retire after the morning loop after sustaining punctures on consecutive stages. At the start of the opening stage (SS9 La Bréole - Selonnet), run in early morning darkness, the Estonian crew had a spin and then hit a stone on the inside, which caused their first puncture.
 


They started SS10, down in fifth place overall, with a second slow puncture and tried to nurse the car back. However, they were unable to maintain sufficient rubber on their tyre after negotiating the road section back to service, which - in accordance with rally regulations - required them to retire from the event. There is no opportunity for the pair to re-join on Sunday.
 


Having found renewed pace and confidence on Friday afternoon, Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio continued with trouble-free runs during Saturday’s three stages, moving up to fifth overall.
 



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



•    Belgian crew moved up to fourth place to head the Hyundai Motorsport charge

•    Strong stage win on SS10 - the first in WRC for co-driver Wydaeghe
 


Neuville said
: “It has been another tricky, challenging day but we have been constantly improving in the car. It was a difficult start; I wasn’t feeling comfortable in the first stage and not in the rhythm but that improved in SS10. I tried to be as efficient as possible in the car, looking for traction and keeping it clean.


There was a mid-section where I felt I had more grip so I could push a bit more. Still, I was surprised to see the time, especially after we lost a lot in that opening stage. It was our first stage win of the season and the first for Martijn, which was nice after the progress we have made this weekend.



The target has been to get mileage and get used to working with each other. Monte is the best school you can get!”
 
 



Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)


•    Spaniards hold fifth place overall after a steady and trouble-free Saturday

•    Crew will aim to avoid drama on the final day in a bid to secure manufacturer points
 



Sordo said:
“Today was all about the grip and getting the car to the end. We knew the opening stage would be ‘interesting’ with lots of ice when we heard the comments of the gravel crew this morning. We changed to a softer car set-up to get a better feeling. The first stage was difficult to read the road, as we knew it would be, with some slippery places and other parts less so.



I lost a bit of confidence in the middle of the second stage, so I didn’t push as much there. We didn’t have any problems and it’s been important to get through today with no mistakes. We took the final stage slowly because it’s so easy to go off the line, so we took no risks.”
 





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


•    Estonians suffered consecutive punctures on SS9 and SS10

•    With no spare tyre left, the crew was forced to retire and cannot re-join on the final day
 


Tänak said:
“Unfortunately, another early finish to Monte for us. On the first stage, I hit a stone - or something similar - and damaged the wheel, which caused a puncture. It was my mistake, something I didn’t notice during the recce. From the very beginning of the second stage we had a slow puncture, so it was a long way to come back on the rubber.



We tried to put the first damaged tyre back on the car to make the road section, but it didn’t last. Nothing much more we could do. We made it to service but had to retire the car. With no opportunity to re-join tomorrow that’s the end of the rally for us.”
 




Team Principal Andrea Adamo said:
“If we have to assess the picture as it currently stands, we cannot be proud of the job we have done so far. It is not the kind of rally performance we wish to show and it’s another day where we are just bringing things home.


Sadly, we lost Ott and Martin to a double puncture; it happened on the only occasion in the World Championship where we can’t re-join on Sunday, so the fans at home will not be able to enjoy another driver in the Power Stage. The rules are the rules, and we stick to them.



There’s not much more to add on a day that has not been at a Hyundai Motorsport level. Still, we have learned many times in the past that the rally is never over until it is over. Monte is the flagship of this saying.”
 




Sunday at a glance





•    Four stages are scheduled for the final day of Monte-Carlo, in and around the Principality


•    A repeated loop consisting of the 12.93km Puget-Théniers - La Penne and 14.31km Briançonnet - Entrevaux timed tests will make up the 54.48km itinerary


•    The final run will act as the Power Stage with extra points available to the top five fastest crews as well as manufacturers, a new addition for the 2021 season which will undoubtedly add more drama to the rally finale.
 




Classification after Day Three

 
1    S. Ogier    J. Ingrassia    Toyota Yaris WRC    2:16:31.9
2    E. Evans    S. Martin    Toyota Yaris WRC    +13.0
3    K. Rovanperä    J. Halttunen    Toyota Yaris WRC    +56.8
4    T. Neuville    M. Wydaeghe    Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC    +1:03.8
5    D. Sordo    C. del Barrio     Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC    +2:11.3
6    T. Katsuta    D. Barritt    Toyota Yaris WRC    +4:43.1

 

 
Thomas Villette,    Nicoletta Russo photos Hyundai
 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/hyundai-motorsport-challenging-day-monte-carlo---218579.html

23.01.2021 / MaP

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