Jari/Mikko take i20 N Rally2 to victory at Ypres Rally Belgium
On its competitive debut in a WRC 2 event, our new i20 N Rally 2 car claimed a brilliant victory in Ypres Rally Belgium. Jari Huttunen and his co-driver Mikko Lukka secured the win with a determined fight to the finish on an action-packed and incident-filled weekend for the WRC 2 contenders.
Our flying Finns emerged triumphant to register a landmark result for our team and take their second victory this season after Rally Italia Sardegna. The win came despite three separate punctures for the crew during the event.
A fine Finnish
“They say, ‘to finish first, you first have to finish’ and that was the name of the game this weekend,” said Jari. “This is an important result for everyone at Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing after a huge amount of preparation work to get the car rally ready.
Oliver Solberg and Aaron Johnston, meanwhile, were firmly in the fight, having moved into the WRC 2 lead during Friday afternoon’s loop. The crew continued to hold a commanding lead despite battling power steering problems throughout Saturday. Sadly, they were forced to stop on the final morning after an electrical issue prevented them from leaving parc fermé.
“It is disappointing not to take the win in WRC 2, especially after leading for so long and battling so hard,” said Oliver. “Fortunately, our team-mate Jari was in second place behind us, so he could bring the win home. Everybody at Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing has worked so hard for this moment, they deserve the victory.”
Flying without wings
Ypres Rally Belgium was intended to be a learning weekend, aiming to understand more about the new i20 N Rally2 on the challenging narrow, tarmac roads. However, both of our crews found their feet quickly and registered their first stage wins with the car. There were certainly positives from a tricky rally.
“The starting point for this new car compared to the previous one is high, and we know where we can make some improvements easily,” said Jari. “I think we all know what’s going to be possible with this car. It has a really good future,” added Oliver.
Our Team Principal Andrea reflected: “I would like to say thanks to Jari and Oliver for their efforts this weekend, the debut event for our new Hyundai i20 N Rally2 car. To come away with the WRC 2 win in its first event shows we have a good baseline, but the car hasn’t fully spread its wings. It has been a tricky weekend still, and sometimes you experience things in competition that you don’t see in testing; it’s why we’re here. We come away with a win – and some room for improvement.”
Final Overall Classification WRC 2 – Ypres Rally Belgium
1 J. Huttunen / M. Lukka (Hyundai i20 N Rally2) 2:51:32.9
2 N. Gryazin / K. Aleksandrov (Volkswagen Polo GTI) + 43:59.3
2021 WRC 2 Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 8
1 A. Mikkelsen 98
2 M. Østberg 87
3 M. Bulacia 82
4 J. Huttunen 60
5 E. Lappi 59
6 N. Gryazin 51
7 A. Fourmaux 48
8 T. Suninen 41
9 E. Brazzoli 31
10 M. Prokop 28
2021 FIA WRC2 Championship for Teams’ Standings
After round 8
1 Movisport 168
2 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 131
3 Toksport WRT 125
4 Hyundai Motorsport N 37
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.