Chasing redemption in WRC
Our team is ready to make the trip to Rally Estonia, round eight of the 2023 WRC season, where we will look to fight back following a difficult weekend at Safari Rally Kenya.
“Rally Estonia has historically provided us with good results, including a win here in 2021,” said Cyril, our Team Principal. “We continue to work closely as a team to develop the performance of the car to maximise our points haul at every rally for the rest of the season.”
We have claimed a spot on the podium at every WRC running of Rally Estonia, including a third-place finish from our Belgians, Thierry and Martijn, in 2021. Despite the past success, it will still be a highly demanding rally for our crews.
“Rally Estonia is a challenging event for me every year,” explained Thierry. “Fast and wide roads mean the average speed is very high. You really need to commit to it and feel comfortable in the car.”
Esapekka and Janne have previously visited Estonia, and their experience on similar surfaces – including their home country of Finland – has put them on the front foot for a good performance.
“The driving style is you are either full throttle or braking – there is no in-between,” elaborated Esapekka. “Normally in central European rallies, you need to drive a different way, but in Estonia and Finland you are full throttle. That’s the biggest difference.”
Teemu and Mikko have seen success at Rally Estonia in the WRC2 category, finishing on the podium at the 2022 running of the event. Their experience on the fast gravel roads proves promising, as the Finns compete behind the wheel of our i20 N Rally1 Hybrid for the very first time.
“I’m really excited to get into the car, especially when it’s one of my favourite rallies,” commented Teemu. “My main goal is to bring home some good manufacturer points, but I also need to show good pace.”
Changes in WRC2
Following the relaunch of our Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Programme (HMDP), Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen will be making their debut with us in WRC2 this weekend, alongside regular contenders Fabrizio and Marcelo.
The reigning WRC2 champions (Emil and Reeta) are looking to defend their title as they jump into new machinery in Estonia. “It’s exciting to go into my first event in an i20 N Rally2,” said Emil. “It’s a new team and a new car, and it’s already feeling impressive so I’m feeling confident going into Estonia.”
“I’m ready to get back into the car and focus on going flat-out for the rest of our campaign,” remarked Fabrizio. “There is no better rally to apply this approach than Rally Estonia.”
Rally Estonia will take place July 20-23.