Fourth and fifth in Germany helps team reclaim second in Manufacturers’ Championship
August 23, 2015 Hyundai Motorsport today reclaimed second place in the WRC Manufacturers’ standings after a competitive Rallye Deutschland saw two of our drivers finish the event inside the top-five overall.
All four Hyundai Motorsport cars successfully completed the German rally, round nine of the WRC calendar. The objective was to gain as many points as possible and all driver crews achieved this target with steady runs to finish the rally.
Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville held their fourth and fifth positions at the end of today’s stages, which included repeat loops of the Stein & Wein and Dhrontal stages. The second running of the Dhrontal stage was the rally’s Power Stage.
Hayden Paddon and Kevin Abbring used the weekend as a learning experience and gained more confidence on the tarmac stages. Hayden finished in ninth and Kevin finished in eleventh position overall.
Dani performed strongly this weekend and for a lot of the rally was in a close battle with team-mate Thierry for fourth place. Dani and co-driver Marc Marti finished third in today’s final stage and claimed one Power Stage point.
It has been a positive weekend for me, said the Spaniard, and I am really happy to finish in a competitive fourth position. The car has been very nice to drive, especially today, and I dont think we could have done much more. We took things calmly today because it was very clear that our target both for Thierry and myself was to secure the top-five positions and to pick up important championship points. We have managed to move back into second place in the Manufacturers standings, which is great in our home event. Id like to say congratulations also to Thierry, he has also had a very strong rally.
Thierry has enjoyed a trouble-free Rallye Deutschland and finishes in fifth overall. The result has helped him and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul strengthen their position in the championship.
All in all, I think we can be very pleased with our weekend in Germany, said the Belgian. The target today was to bring the car home safely in the top five and we have been able to do that without any difficulties. It was fun to be in the fight with Dani for fourth place this weekend. I had a couple of stages yesterday where the rhythm was not perfect and where Dani was stronger, and that made the difference, so he deserved it. As a team, we have a nice result for the Championship, which is the most important thing. We can now look to build on this performance for the next rallies and, hopefully, we can consolidate this position.
Hayden has used the German event as a chance to learn more about competing on tarmac stages. It is not a terrain that is familiar to him. He and co-driver John Kennard will use what they have learned this weekend as a chance to improve for future events.
Its definitely been tough for us this weekend, said the young Kiwi. We knew coming into the rally that wed have to lower our expectations a bit because we still have a lot to learn on tarmac. Weve had some ups and downs but there are some good things to take away from the event. We have accumulated a lot of data and information, which we can study back at home to see what we have to work on for the future. We have used todays stages to build a bit more confidence and the set-up of the car definitely feels better than when we started, which is positive. Its been an important weekend and one that will ultimately be beneficial.
Kevin has completed his third event driving for our team. He and co-driver Sebastian Marshall have made good progress this weekend. He has used the German rally to get used to his Hyundai i20 WRC car and the German tarmac stages.
This rally has been an interesting one for us and a valuable experience, said the young Dutchman. We had some difficulties at the start of the rally because we started out in a wrong direction with the car, which took some time to identify and resolve. It was only after lunchtime service on Saturday that we worked it out, and it was like a reset for our rally. Weve found a better rhythm since then and picked up our confidence, its just a shame we couldnt quite break into the top-ten. The car felt good in this mornings final stages and we were able to really enjoy ourselves. Its been crazy how many Dutch flags and spectators from Holland there have been here – Ive really appreciated the fantastic support. Heres to our next rally in Corsica.
Our Alzenau-based team has achieved its target of scoring points in this home event. The result of this is that we are again second in the Manufacturers’ Championship. It is a position that we aim to defend until the end of the 2015 WRC season.
We have achieved what we set out to accomplish in Rallye Deutschland so Im very satisfied with this result, commented Team Principal Michel Nandan. The drivers have performed well and truly worked as a team to secure a four-car finish with two cars inside the top-five. We have moved back into second place in the Championship and we must now build on this momentum to consolidate that in the next rounds. Dani and Thierry have both been on competitive form, as we knew they would be, but have shown a sensible approach to the rally to get both cars home in the top-five. For Hayden and Kevin, it has been a weekend of learning. We have also had to deal with some small technical issues but overall it has been a useful weekend for them both, and I commend their professionalism. It has been another enjoyable home event for our team and although we have not been able to fight for a podium, we were actually not too far off at the end. We will continue to push ourselves to close the gap to the frontrunners.