World Rally Championship 2

Rally2 customer round-up 4

i20 N Rally2 customers started their national championships with strong pace, while Team Hyundai Portugal again dominated proceedings in Portugal.

i20 N Rally2 customers started their national championships with strong pace, while Team Hyundai Portugal again dominated proceedings in Portugal.

Safari Rally trip finished with class podiums for i20 N Rally2 crews

i20 N Rally2 drivers Nicolas Ciamin and Charles Munster finished fourth and fifth respectively in WRC at Safari Rally Kenya (March 28-31). Driving a car prepared by the French 2C Competition team, Ciamin was consistent throughout the famously gruelling event and avoided any major problems alongside co-driver Yannick Roche. The duo topped the WRC2 Challenger class on four stages, including three on the final day of the event as they claimed a second-place finish in the category.

Munster was making his career-first WRC2 start at the event. He and co-driver Loïc Dumont were the quickest WRC2 Challenger crew on two stages as they also avoided major issues throughout the weekend. In the final results they claimed 13th overall and completed the WRC2 Challenger podium to complete a strong debut in the world championship.

Meeke and Fulton continue super start to Portuguese season
Kris Meeke and James Fulton dominated the second round of the Portuguese Rally Championship at Rallye Casinos do Algarve (March 15-16). The Team Hyundai Portugal crew won all nine stages on the gravel event in their i20 N Rally2 to take overall victory by nearly a minute and continue their superb start to the 2024 campaign.

Their team-mates Ricardo Teodósio and José Teixeira looked to be on course to complete a 1-2 for the Hyundai Portugal-backed team. However, though they never dropped out of the top three times, the defending champions – and 2023 victors on the event – fell to third place over the last two stages to take the final step on the podium.

In their Racing 4 You-run i20 N Rally2 Pedro Meireles and Ricardo Cunha held sixth position – a result which would have matched their finish in the opening round – until they were forced to retire on the final stage of the rally.

British crew start national season with consistent performance
The new British Rally Championship season began at the North West Stages (March 23) with James Williams and Ross Whittock aboard an i20 N Rally2. After clocking only the eighth quickest time on the opening stage the pair climbed to fifth before the end of the opening loop, though the progress was limited by the cancellation of the final two stages before the mid-day service.

They proved that point with the second fastest time on SS6 when the action resumed in the afternoon. On the following stage they took fourth place. Williams and Whittock avoided any major issues when caught out on slick tyres during isolated rain showers on the stages, though the changing conditions limited their pace on the wet roads. Through this situation the pair held fourth position until the end of the event.

i20 N Rally2 crew take strong finish from Italian season opener
Andrea Nucita and Rudy Pollet finished an impressive fourth on Rally Il Ciocco e Valle del Serchio (March 15-16). The pair showed their best pace in the final three stages of the event, winning two tests and going second quickest on the other. The times helped them secure their finishing position after they moved into fourth earlier in the day, having begun the second day of running in sixth place.

Hyundai crews finish 1-2 on American event
Hyundai Motorsport customers finished first and second in class at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood (March 15-16). In their first start of the season, i20 R5 crew Patrick Gruszka and Florian Barral finished fourth overall and were the fastest RC2 entrant on all 14 stages to begin their defence of the class title in the American Rally Association events. John Coyne finished eighth overall in an i20 N Rally2 to take second in the class with his Irish countryman Josh McErlean taking an unfamiliar seat as a co-driver for the weekend.

i20 N Rally2 customers show strong pace to start year in France
Hugo Margaillan started his French Tarmac Rally Championship season with a sixth place finish at Rallye Le Touquet – Pas-de-Calais (March 15-16). On his competitive debut with the i20 N Rally2 he and co-driver Corentin Silvestre held a podium place for most of the rally’s opening day, which was run on wet, muddy roads. They would briefly lose their top three place before reclaiming it on the opening stage of the second day of the contest. Unfortunately, on the following stage they would suffer a puncture and drop to sixth. They finished the event there, one spot ahead of Belgian crew Cédric Cherain and Damien Withers. The Belgian Rally Championship regulars improved their pace and position as they gained confidence in the conditions on the unfamiliar roads. Ultimately the finished less than four seconds behind their CHL Sport Auto team-mates.

The rally was also the first competitive event for Eric Camilli with an i20 N Rally2 run by 2C Competition. Camilli and Thibault de la Haye were fastest overall on SS4 as they chased a podium place. However, they crashed out on the following stage.

Top ten finishes begin German season for i20 N Rally2 crews
A trio of crews took i20 N Rally2 prepared by FS Sport onto the stages of the opening round of the German Rally Championship – Rallye Erzgebirge (March 15-16). Nico Knacker and Thomas Puls finished as the best of the three in sixth position after a consistent run that began with the second fastest time through the opening stages.

The crew of Patrik Dinkel and Alexander Benning started their rally with different results. They suffered a puncture on the opening stage and a spin on SS2, leaving them 13th overall on their first return to service. Happily, their fortunes improved when the same stages were re-run in the evening as the pair recovered to eighth after top-ten times on both tests.

Their pace and progress continued into day two of the rally. Second fastest on SS6 and third on SS7 gave them seventh overall, which they kept for the remainder of the rally, despite another brief off-road trip on SS10.

The i20 N Rally2 crews on the event were completed by Martin Christ and Lina Meter, who finished 11th overall.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Manager Benoit Nogier said: “More of our rallying customers have shown good pace at the start of the season in national series. In France, Germany and Italy i20 N Rally2 crews have already shown they have the pace to challenge for at least podium positions and in Portugal Kris Meeke, James Fulton and Team Hyundai Portugal have continued their excellent start to the season with Ricardo Teodósio and José Teixeira claiming a podium at the same event.”


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