High hopes for home rally
We return to home soil next weekend (26-29 October) for the first ever Central European Rally, round twelve of the 2023 WRC season.
“The introduction of a brand-new rally to the calendar, and one as remarkable as this, always presents a challenge to teams and crews,” said Cyril, our Team Principal. “Podium finishes in our two previous tarmac rallies this season mean that we are confident we can replicate, if not better, Thierry and Esapekka’s third places at Monte and Croatia.”
A rally of firsts
As a brand-new event, Central European Rally presents a number of unknowns. The recce will be the first time our crews have the opportunity to grace the stages, leaving little time for them to get to grips with the profile and characteristics of the roads. This event also marks the first time a WRC rally has crossed borders into three countries.
“It’s an interesting concept that I like a lot; it’s the first time we have seen this happen in the top-flight of rally,” expressed Esapekka. “I strongly believe that there will be three different sets of characteristics across the weekend, so it will be a unique event to prepare for.”
Going for gold
With 14 podiums under our belt so far this season, we are hoping to add to this tally back on the stages of the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.
“It’s a new event on the calendar and it’s always exciting when you get the chance to discover new roads,” remarked Thierry. “Like every other rally, the goal is victory.”
Alongside Thierry and EP, Teemu returns to our i20 N Rally1 Hybrid for his final rally of the season.
“Central European Rally will be really demanding. The goal is to bring the car home and learn as much as we can from our time on the stages. The fact Hyundai want to see my pace on the tarmac means a lot, so I want to end the weekend with a good result for the whole team.”
Untouched tarmac for WRC2
Back-to-back WRC2 events for our crews – Emil/Reeta and Fabrizio/Marcelo – means a return to action on European stages.
“The car has been feeling great, so I’m capitalising on that and aiming for a podium finish,” explained Emil.
“Coming off the back of a successful rally in Chile, we are confident that our good performance will continue,” said Fabrizio.
Central European Rally will take place October 26-29.