Hyundai regains championship lead in Rally de Portugal

Hyundai Motorsport has added to its podium tally and taken the lead of the manufacturers’ championship, whilst also extending its drivers’ championship lead, with hard-fought second and third place finishes at Rally de Portugal over the past weekend. 
 
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja confirmed their first podium finish of the season on Sunday with an unwavering push across the day’s four stages. A storming effort on the first loop of Fafe saw the   claim the fastest time by four seconds, before an admirable performance on SS21delivered them an additional stage win. One final push on the Power Stage meant they finished atop the Super Sunday standings and progressed to third in the drivers’ championship.
 
Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe finished second on the first three of Sunday’s stages, growing the gap from fourth to 31,9 seconds. Their efforts on the Power Stage led to a clean, fast run, consolidating their third-place finish and increasing their lead in the drivers’ championship. They head to Rally Italia Sardegna with a 24-point advantage over Elfyn Evans in the drivers’ championship.
 
A cautious morning ensued for Dani Sordo and Cándido Carrera. Battling with the foggy and humid conditions, the Spaniards maintained a slower yet stable pace to carry their Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid to the Power Stage in one piece. Another consistent performance on SS22 Fafe confirmed the Spaniards’ top-five finish to the weekend, bringing back a good points haul.
 
Hyundai Motorsport now leads the manufacturers’ championship by four points. The next round of the 2024 WRC season will be the legendary Rally Italia Sardegna from 31 May to 2 June – the second of seven back-to-back gravel rallies. 
 
Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin JärveojaTänak said: “The outcome is not too bad, it was just very unfortunate to pick up the slow puncture, but otherwise I would say very positive. Without the puncture, I think I could have gone for the win. On Friday I was struggling the most, but after I was slowly getting used to the car and that let me find a good rhythm. On Saturday the stages were very different, and overnight I was able to understand what I needed to do differently from Friday to make the most of the car.”Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe Neuville said: “It’s been a great Super Sunday for us once again after another positive day on Friday. A very challenging and difficult weekend but we finished with the result we needed, plus another five points in the Power Stage. We’ve increased the lead in the championship for us by 24 points, which is a strong lead to have before Sardinia where another challenging weekend is waiting for us.”
 
Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Cándido CarreraSordo said: “Today was a little bit difficult with the conditions we had in the morning, but the first two days were really promising. Of course I’m happy to get to the end of the day with some really good points, and for my first weekend back with the team I think we have still managed to help them get back to the top of the manufacturers’ championship. It was a good gravel rally to start with, one that I know well, and it’s a good one to enter before Sardinia.”
 
Hyundai Motorsport president and team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “It’s been a positive rally with some great teamwork and very strong performances from both Ott and Thierry. Thierry is leaving Portugal having extended his lead over Evans, something that is crucial in a championship where points are so hard to score. Ott on his side is starting to increase his confidence in the car, demonstrated by some very strong stage times to take home the most points of the weekend. This is very encouraging considering the amount of gravel events we are about to face.“There is still more work to be done so he can continue to maximise his opportunities over the next six rounds. On Dani’s side, he has contributed massively to the points for the manufacturers’ standings and has been the support that the team needed. At the next round we will see what we can do to help him improve his performance even more in the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid. All three of the crews’ results have helped us edge into the lead of the manufacturers’ championship, so it’s an important result for the remainder of our season.
Final results Rally de Portugal:
  1S. Ogier V. LandaisToyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid3:41.32.32O. Tänak M. JärveojaHyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid+7.93T. Neuville M. WydaegheHyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid+1:09.84A. FourmauxA. CoriaFord Puma Rally1 Hybrid+1:47.85D. SordoC. CarreraHyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid+2:48.96E. EvansS. MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid+6:36.07N. GryazinK. AleksandrovCitroën C3+11:48.48J. SolansR. SanjuanToyota GR Yaris Rally2+11:52.99J. McErleanJ. FultonŠkoda Fabia RS+11:56.110L. JoonaJ. HussiŠkoda Fabia RS+13:40.3
Championship for Manufacturers’ standings:
  1Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team2192Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team2153M-Sport Ford World Rally Team110
Championship for Drivers’ standings:
  1T. Neuville1102E. Evans863O. Tänak794A. Fourmaux715S. Ogier706T. Katsuta497K. Rovanpera368E. Lappi239A. Mikkelsen1410O. Solberg12 
Contact
LogoDeon  Sonnekus
General Manager: Corporate Communications
Mail: deons@hyundai.co.za
Office: 010 248 8000 | Mobile: 061 355 1153

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