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Rally Sweden sees second podium for our New Generation i20 WRC

Hayden's result completes our first-ever consecutive podium with Dani Sordo holding onto sixth and Thierry Neuville rounding off the first-three car finish for our new car!


Hayden’s result completes our first-ever consecutive podium with Dani Sordo holding onto sixth and Thierry Neuville rounding off the first-three car finish for our new car!

Karlstad, Sweden

February 13, 2016 – We have strengthened our hold on second place at this year’s Rally Sweden with Hayden on stunning form for a second day running. 

February 14, 2016 – Today we celebrate as Hayden secured our second podium finish in the first two rounds of the 2016 WRC. This is the first time that we have claimed back-to-back podium finishes and is an encouraging start to the 2016 campaign for our New Generation i20 WRC.

Dani also showed podium pace before a puncture on Saturday slowed him. His sixth-place finish makes Sweden the second event in a row with two of our drivers finishing in the top-six. Despite transmission problems on Friday, Thierry ensured all three of our New Generation i20 WRC cars completed the rally.

The shortened final day featured just one stage: the Värmullsåsen Power Stage. Thierry and Dani finished with no drama but there was one more test for Hayden before he could claim his podium. The Kiwi hit a wooden post and suffered a radiator leak that he and John Kennard had to repair before they could make it back to service. But once they did, the celebration started!

Hayden’s result is his best since his second-place in Sardinia last year. The result secures 18 Manufacturer points today and we are just five points behind leaders VW.

“A podium is a fantastic result for me and everyone in the team,” said the delighted Kiwi. “We were hoping to have had a less stressful finish to the rally but unfortunately we picked up a radiator leak after hitting a wooden post in the stage, which required some quick repairs. Thankfully, we were able to find a temporary fix and get back to service with second place intact! Late drama aside, we have had a good weekend and I felt very comfortable in the New Generation i20 WRC. We made the most of our road position when we had to, and refused to get drawn into a fight for the lead. In the future, we will fight more for the win but there’s a bit more work needed on my driving and the car set-up. We’re not far away and, for now, we’ll happily take second place.”

Dani’s result was his second top-six finish in two events, and could have been higher until a puncture slowed him. He now looks to Mexico to continue his efforts for another podium finish.

“Sixth place is a good result and gives us some nice points for the Championship,” said the Spaniard. “We took it very carefully in the Power Stage. We had nothing really to fight for and it was just important to secure the position. The New Generation i20 WRC has performed well this weekend, so it was a shame that the puncture yesterday ended our chances of a better result. Still, there are a lot of positives we can take from this weekend as we prepare for the next rally in Mexico.”

Thierry has driven well since his podium at Monte last month, but saw any chance of a good result end with technical problems on Friday. He continued with determination and still picked up six valuable Championship points for our team.

“We were obviously going to find it difficult to score a good result after our differential problems on Friday but we had a pretty good end to our rally,” admitted the Belgian. “Yesterday, we spent the day regaining the rhythm in the New Generation i20 WRC on the difficult Swedish conditions and had a good run this morning. I might have lost a second or two going wide but it was a great stage. The car has again shown its potential to compete for the podium – as we can see from Hayden’s result – which is fantastic for all of us in the team and gives us a lot of motivation for the next rally.”

Hayden’s result today makes ten individual podiums since we entered the WRC in 2014. We can’t wait to see what our drivers achieve with our new car, continuing in just a few weeks at Rally Mexico!

“It’s been an eventful week in Sweden so to come away with a podium result is fantastic,” commented Team Principal Michel Nandan. “Congratulations to Hayden and John – and to everyone in the team for a job well done. We had a few nervous moments at the end of the Power Stage when Hayden experienced a water leak from the radiator, but thankfully some quick thinking allowed him to make it back safely. Dani had a decent run this weekend, too, and without the puncture on Saturday morning, he would have been in the fight for the top-three. Thierry’s rally was also affected by some technical trouble but he had a strong finish, only just missing out on a Power Stage point. Thanks to the drivers’ determination, we have been able to learn more about the New Generation i20 WRC this weekend and pick up some important Championship points. We are five points behind Volkswagen after two events, we’ve scored consecutive podiums and we’ve shown encouraging pace. Mexico will be another learning experience with the new car but we can be pleased with our start to 2016.”

-Ends-

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