Ott/Martin take their fifth in a row
In our first-ever visit to Rally New Zealand, we have come away with our fifth consecutive podium finish of the season.
Held on largely wet and slippery gravel roads, it was a challenging weekend for our three crews. Ott and Martin enjoyed an encouraging start, taking three stage wins to lead the rally overall by a 0.2-second margin at the end of Friday.
Unfortunately, two separate time penalties for hybrid boost infringements dropped them down the order on Saturday. They continued to extract maximum performance from our i20 N Rally1 car on the final day, adding another stage win and four Power Stage points.
“Rally New Zealand has been a difficult weekend for us, but it’s been a great place to be, on amazing roads and fun to drive,” said Ott. “We have not been up to the pace to fight for the win but we’re still on the podium with a good finish to add points onto the board.”
Fighting fourth and fifth
Thierry and Martijn lacked confidence across the 17 stages and had to settle for fourth position. Our Belgians also picked up time penalties, as well as two spins on the first day.
“It was a bit of a harsh start to the event, so we really couldn’t do much more,” said Thierry. “We need to work on the car in these conditions; I just don’t feel comfortable, and it’s been a bit of a struggle for me to drive and go fast.”
Oliver and Elliott registered their second top-five result in a row with fifth after another valuable weekend of learning.
“It has not been a perfect weekend for sure, so to come away with a fifth-place finish is a real positive,” reflected Oliver. “Thanks to the team for all their preparations for this long-haul event, and to the mechanics for sorting the car after our issues this weekend.”
Frustrations and congratulations
“A quite frustrating rally for us and definitely not the result we came here for,” summarised our Deputy Team Director Julien. “We had too many issues and a general lack of pace to achieve a better result. Still, we haven’t given up and all three cars made it to the finish.”
Separately, we also extended our congratulations to Kalle Rovanperä and Toyota Gazoo Racing for securing the 2022 drivers’ title.
Julien said: “We are committed to fighting at the very highest level of this championship. The results demonstrated by Kalle and Toyota act as motivation and inspiration for all of us. Their performances this season offer an impressive benchmark. We will not stop pushing to improve our own competitiveness and look forward to close fights in the remaining rallies of this season.”
The 12th and penultimate round of the season, Rally de España, takes place from October 20-23.
Final Overall Classification –Rally New Zealand
1 K. Rovanperäs / J. Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) 2:48:01.4
2 S. Ogiers / B. Veillas (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) +34.6
3 O. Tänaks / M. Järveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) +48.5
4 T. Neuville / M. Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) +1:58.8
5 O. Solbergs / E. Edmondson (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) +3:55.3
6 H. Paddons / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 N Rally2) +10:03.7
7 L. Bertellis / L. Granai (Ford Puma Rally1) +10:39.0
8 K. Kajetanowiczs / M. Szczepaniak (Škoda Fabia Evo) +12:36.8
9 S. Van Gisbergens / G. Weston (Škoda Fabia Evo) +13:28.8
10 H. Bates / J. McCarthy (Škoda Fabia Evo) +16:51.6
2022 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 11
1 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 455
2 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 374
3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 224
4 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team NG 112
2022 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 11
1 K. Rovanperä 237
2 O. Tänak 173
3 T. Neuville 144
4 E. Evans 116
5 T. Katsuta 100
6 C. Breen 77
7 E. Lappi 58
8 S. Ogier 55
9 D. Sordo 49
10 G. Greensmith 36
11 S. Loeb 35
12 O. Solberg 33
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.