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Spain - 6-8 Oct 17

Posted: October 7, 2017 4:46 AM - 2700 Hits

Round 11 - 2017 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Spain 2017) Also available at: rally-base results
Radio: Rally Radio on WRC.COM
News: www.wrc.com
Interviews by Trevor Payne
Event Website: Rally Spain (Catalunya)

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
Shakedown - Thu - 07:00
SS1 Fri - 08:53
SS7 Sat - 07:00
SS14 Sun - 06:00

Neuville pledges Spain fightback

Posted: October 5, 2017 3:23 PM

Thierry Neuville has vowed to undo the last round damage and reignite his World Rally Championship title challenge in Spain this weekend.

The Belgian shared the lead with Sébastien Ogier before the last rally in Germany but broken suspension left the Frenchman 17 points clear with just three rounds remaining.

Now, after a six-week summer break, Neuville has promised to take the fight to the defending champion at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España [5 - 8 October], the only mixed-surface event on the calendar.

"This is certainly an important event if I want to catch back the points we lost in Germany. We were unlucky there, now it's our time and we will fight back," the Hyundai Motorsport driver told wrc.com.

"Things are delicately positioned in the drivers’ championship, so anything can still happen. I'm determined to put in my strongest fight for the title."

90 points are available from the final three rounds in Spain, Great Britain and Australia. This weekend's rally is unique in the championship because it blends an opening day of mainly gravel stages with two days of action on wide, smooth, circuit-style asphalt.

Neuville's Hyundai's i20 Coupe boasts a new front and rear aero package and the 29-year-old had a clear strategy.

"I feel rested after the long break since Germany and I'm looking forward to the start. My motivation is good, but I know that this is not an easy rally. We have to be consistent and faster than Seb," he said.

M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver Ogier is a three-time winner in Spain. He won in 2016 and a fourth success would move him closer to a fifth consecutive world title.

"I'm feeling fully refreshed after the break and ready to get back to business. We have a 17 point lead but there remains all to play for and we all need to work together to maximise our potential,” he said.

Ogier's teammate Ott Tänak is the only other driver with a realistic chance of the title but he sits 33 points off the lead and needs both Ogier and Neuville to hit trouble this weekend.

The rally starts on Friday morning from the holiday town of Salou and will conclude on Sunday afternoon after 19 special stages totalling 312km.

Hyundai Motorsport seeks return to form in Rally de Espana

Posted: October 2, 2017 8:01 AM

Hyundai Motorsport aims to get its 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) hopes back on track with a three-car entry into Rally de España, the 11th round of the 13-event season, next week.

The team will field a new crew line-up for this mixed surface event with Drivers’ Championship contender Thierry Neuville and home hero Dani Sordo joined by Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen in his first WRC event with Hyundai Motorsport.

Getting back into the mix

Spain’s composition of gravel and tarmac roads offers a unique challenge for drivers and teams alike. The rally gets underway on Thursday evening with a ceremonial start at Salou before the opening gravel stages begin on Friday morning. The itinerary for the first day will be familiar to crews from last year’s rally. The highlight will be the 38.95km Terra Alta stage, which includes occasional tarmac sections, and requires careful tyre choice and due diligence from inside the cockpit.

The mechanics have the biggest workload on Friday evening as they transform the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars from gravel to tarmac spec – all in the tight timeframe of a 75-minute service. Saturday’s schedule includes new stages and old before a final gruelling push on Sunday covering six stages without the luxury of service.

Rested and tested

Following two disappointing events in Finland and Germany, Hyundai Motorsport wants to re-position itself at the forefront of the WRC with a strong performance in Spain. The team has historically performed well at the event, having taken a third-place finish in 2015 and a double podium (second and third) in 2016.

In preparation for this year’s Spanish campaign, the team carried out two test sessions in September with all three crews on tarmac and gravel. An upgraded aerodynamic package – which includes a new front bumper and rear wing - will be used in an effort for Hyundai Motorsport to fight at the front of the competitive WRC field once again.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said:
“We have had a long summer break but we have used the time wisely to try and turn around our recent misfortunes. Finland and Germany were both frustrating, and saw us lose ground in the championship. From Spain, and in the final rounds of the season, we are determined to do all we can to catch up. We welcome Andreas and Anders into the team from Spain, an event they won memorably in 2015, alongside Thierry and Dani, who have both had podiums at this rally. For Dani, it will be extra special, as his home event, so we are in optimistic and hopeful mood. With an upgraded Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, our primary target is to get back onto the podium.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger have spent valuable time since their announcement as a Hyundai Motorsport crew visiting the team’s factory in Alzenau and testing the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. As a former winner of Rally de España, Mikkelsen is hopeful of positioning himself immediately in the thick of the action.

Mikkelsen said: “I am really pleased to be making my debut as a Hyundai Motorsport driver. Since the announcement, Anders and I have had the opportunity to test the car on both tarmac and gravel; I have been very impressed with what we’ve experienced. The car has already shown itself to be versatile, and there’s nowhere better than Spain to showcase those characteristics. It’s a special rally for me, as I took my first win in Spain in 2015, so it has fantastic memories. The changes in surface can be demanding, particularly with the quick switch from gravel to tarmac. It is a challenging, but highly enjoyable event, and I hope to be able to fight at the front in my first WRC event with the team.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Belgians Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul have it all to play for in the final three rounds of the season. Spanish podium finishers twelve months ago, the crew will want to recreate the sort of form that saw them win three rallies in Corsica, Argentina and Poland. Neuville has a 17-point deficit in the drivers’ championship to Sébastien Ogier, and a 16-point buffer to third-placed Ott Tanak.

Neuville said: “Entering this crucial part of the season for the championship, we must stay focused and look to target the podium, if not victory, in all rounds. Things are delicately positioned in the Drivers’ Championship between Ogier, myself and Tanak, so anything can still happen. Spain is going to be a huge challenge, as it always is with the change of surface. It is a rally that all crews enjoy, with a good atmosphere and, usually, great weather. We are rested after the long break and determined to put in our strongest fight for the title.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

For Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí, Rally de España is full of emotion as their home event. They already have two third-place results to their name in 2017, as well as twice finishing on the podium in Spain for Hyundai Motorsport, in 2015 and again in 2016. A hat trick will be their target next weekend.

Sordo said: “It is always a pleasure to return to Spain for my home rally, and to have the chance to compete in front of so many enthusiastic supporters. We definitely want to give them something to cheer. I think our road position will be beneficial on the opening gravel stages on Friday. We then move onto tarmac for the final two days, where we push to secure our third podium of the season – and our third in a row in Catalunya for Hyundai Motorsport. That’s the aim.”

Rally de España at a glance

The mixed surface Spanish event covers 19 timed stages over a total distance of 312.02km.

A shakedown and ceremonial start are held in Salou on Thursday before teams return to the PortAventura service park ahead of Friday’s gravel stages. The mixed surface Terra Alta on Friday represents the longest individual stage of the weekend at 38.95km.

Following Friday evening’s 75-minute service, cars adopt a tarmac-spec for the remainder of the event – covering seven stages on Saturday and six stages without service on Sunday.

Rally de España culminates with the 14.50km Santa Marina Power Stage, which has not been used since 2012, prior to Hyundai Motorsport joining the WRC.

Dual surface challenge ahead for the Yaris WRC in Spain

Posted: October 2, 2017 8:00 AM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team faces a fresh challenge on Rally de España (October 5-8): the only round of the FIA World Rally Championship run on both gravel and asphalt. This mixed-surface event will provide a thorough test of the development of the Yaris WRC during its first season. Already, the car has won on snow in Sweden in the hands of Jari-Matti Latvala and on gravel in Finland with Esapekka Lappi. Progress has been made on asphalt too as seen last time out in Germany, where Juho Hänninen finished fourth and all three drivers took stage wins.

Historically, the Spanish round of the WRC has been run over the smooth, fast and flowing asphalt roads of Catalunya, which are similar to racing circuits in their characteristics. Since 2010, these stages have been preceded by a day on gravel. Teams are required to transfer the cars from gravel to asphalt specification within a 75-minute service on Friday evening.

The rally begins on Thursday evening with a ceremonial start in the service park in Salou ahead of three stages all run twice on Friday run mostly on gravel – although the 38.95-kilometre Terra Alta test features sections of asphalt. Saturday features two loops of three stages followed by a Salou seafront test and there are six more stages on Sunday.

Following the launch of EchoCam on Rally Finland, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and its partner Microsoft will offer HoloLens mixed reality technology on Rally de España as a trial. It will be available at the TGR fan booth at the service park from Thursday to Saturday.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“Spain will be something completely unknown for me, as I have never driven the rally like it is nowadays with a mix of gravel and asphalt. I don’t know what to expect personally, but of course Jari-Matti knows the challenges very well. Having two surfaces will require work from the engineers and the mechanics, as well as quite a lot of extra equipment. I am sure though that everybody is prepared and knows what to do when the cars arrive into service in order to change all the necessary parts. We have been making some good steps forward with the car and I hope that with more new items and new ideas, we can make some small improvements again in Spain.”

Miikka Anttila and Jari-Matti Latvala

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“I like the combination in Spain of having the first day on gravel and then two days on asphalt. They are the best asphalt roads in the championship – as close to a race circuit as is possible – and the gravel stages are also quite good. I did two days of testing for Spain this week: on the asphalt, we were focused on the suspension, and on gravel we concentrated on the differential. The change of surface creates extra work for the mechanics and the engineers, and as drivers we need to adapt our driving style overnight,. Our car showed winning speed on gravel in Finland and the performance was also there on asphalt in Germany, so I believe we should be very competitive.”

Kaj Lindström and Juho Hänninen

Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)
“The car has felt good in testing, just like it did in Germany. We plan to continue in the same way in Spain. Friday will be challenging for me because the stages are exactly the same as recent years and I haven’t done this rally for a while, so I will need to push a lot on Friday in order to be in the fight. But unless it rains like last year, I don’t think the time differences will be too big. Then there will be some new stages on Saturday and Sunday, which should help.”

Janne Ferm and Esapekka Lappi

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 12)
“Spain is a really challenging rally with the mix of gravel and asphalt. It’s a completely different type of rally to what we are used to. The gravel part is similar to Portugal in my opinion, and then the asphalt stages are quite unique: I think they’re the best stages on asphalt in the world. They are pretty clean and smooth, and are not as twisty as Corsica and not as narrow as Germany, so really enjoyable to drive. I’m really looking forward to it. There were some ups and downs in Germany but in the end, we could match the speed of the others and our performance should be good on both surfaces.”

Citroen - SPAIN SERVES UP A MIXED PLATTER OF GRAVEL AND TARMAC

Posted: October 2, 2017 7:31 AM

After a long break, the World Rally Championship resumes with the eleventh round in Catalonia. The C3 WRC crews will attempt to show their potential on gravel and tarmac. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle, Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau and Khalid Al Qassimi/Chris Patterson form the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT's driver line-up at this rally.

BACK TO SCHOOL FOR THE WRC

This year, the WRC teams had to wait until the end of August before getting a breather. Following rounds in Poland, Finland and Germany, the six-week break was very welcome after a busy summer!

The championship therefore returns to action in Catalonia, at a round that is special in more ways than one. Based in Salou, right next to the PortAventura theme park, Rally de España is the only mixed-surface event on the WRC calendar.

On Friday, the opening leg will be mainly contested on mountainous gravel roads, although the long Terra Alta stage includes sections on tarmac. At the end of day one, the teams will have an hour and a quarter in which to convert the cars to tarmac configuration. The longest service of the year is always a bit special, for mechanics and fans alike! The main alterations made during service involve changing the transmission and suspension systems, and reducing the level of chassis protection.

The final two legs are then contested on tarmac. The Catalan event is famous for its wide, smooth, circuit-style roads. The aerodynamic efficiency and engine power of the 2017 World Rally Cars should be something to behold on this surface! Since cutting the corners is common here, the drivers will nonetheless need to keep an eye out to avoid hitting loose rocks and picking up a puncture.

THE CHALLENGE: BE QUICK ON BOTH SURFACES

As it is held on two surfaces with radically different requirements, Rally de España puts greater emphasis on the versatility of the drivers and their cars. In order to prepare for this round, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team held three days of tests in Catalonia, only on gravel. Stéphane Lefebvre, Kris Meeke and Sébastien Loeb took turns behind the wheel, managing to come up with a set-up that suited all three of them. On tarmac, the team will be capitalising on the qualities of the Citroën C3 WRC, which were clearly demonstrated at the Tour de Corse and the ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

This year will mark Kris Meeke's tenth appearance at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España. To date, the Briton has not enjoyed a great deal of success in Spain. However, he had a more positive rally in 2016, which he ended with the feeling of having found the right pace at this event. As he looks to put his recent disappointments behind him, the winner of this year's Rally Mexico will be aiming to be among the frontrunners.

After missing rounds in Finland and Germany, Stéphane Lefebvre returns to the wheel of the C3 WRC in Spain. Unlike his team-mate, the young Frenchman only has very limited experience of the event. But that won't stop him from seizing the challenge! Looking to build on his fine race at Rally Poland – where he finished fifth overall – he will be aiming to keep learning about competing among the elite of the World Rallying.

Khalid Al Qassimi will also be celebrating his tenth outing in Spain. After appearances in Portugal and Finland, the Abu Dhabi driver will be pursuing his partial programme at one of his favourite rallies.

M-SPORT SEEK SPANISH SUCCESS AS THE SEASON HEATS UP

Posted: October 2, 2017 7:28 AM

As the FIA World Rally Championship returns to action, there remains all to play for and M-Sport will be hoping to continue their success on the mixed-surface terrain of RallyRACC Catalyuna – Rally de España.

With the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC leading the way in both championships, the Spanish fixture could prove pivotal – the team having their first, albeit very slim, mathematical chance of clinching the manufacturers’ crown.

RALLY DE ESPAÑA
UNIQUE MIXED-SURFACE

RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España provides a unique challenge as the only mixed surface event on the calendar; a day of gravel followed by one and a half days of the smoothest, circuit-like asphalt.

The action kicks off on Friday with six gravels tests in the hills west of Salou. Fast and technical in nature, the crews will also have to tackle the daunting Terra Alta stage with close to 40 kilometres of gravel interspersed with long stretches of asphalt.

Then it’s over to the mechanics as they convert the competition cars from their gravel to asphalt specifications. What could take up to 12 hours on a standard road car, is done in a mere 75 minute service – the team expertly changing a whole host of components including the suspension, brakes, gearbox, rear differential, steering rack and cross members.

Over the weekend, the crews head north to tackle a further 13 speed tests on pure asphalt. Whereas Friday’s action remains unchanged, the weekend ushers in a host of new roads to test the crews through some of the season’s most famous Tarmac.

Having completed a total of 312.02 competitive kilometres come the end of the rally, the victor will have mastered the art of mixed-surface rallying and excelled through both the loose- and sealed-surface terrain.

MALCOLM WILSON
TEAM PRINCIPAL

M-Sport currently leads both the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ FIA World Rally Championship but Team Principal Malcolm Wilson OBE remains acutely aware of how crucial the final three events will be.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“We’ve had a fantastic season to date, and we’re now entering the decisive final phase. The competition could not be closer and the next three rallies will be crucial – Rally Spain in particular.

“With its mix of gravel and asphalt, this event is truly unique and the teams will have to master both surfaces in their pursuit of victory. Having secured a podium on every event this season, the Fiesta has proven competitive on every surface and we hope to see that continue next week.

“Sébastien certainly knows what it takes to win here, and Ott and Elfyn will both be determined to settle a few scores. A strong result will be imperative to the outcome of the championship, and that is exactly what we aim to deliver.

“It won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, and the competition will be extremely tough, but I have confidence in the team who are working their hardest to deliver our best.”

OGIER AND INGRASSIA
THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia know what it takes to master the mixed-surface terrain of Rally Spain. The Frenchmen have secured victory at the Spanish fixture on three separate occasions and will be determined to deliver another strong result next week.

Fully refreshed after the summer break, the World Champion has relaxed with family and friends whilst also hosting a meeting with his Fan Club in Lyon.

Currently holding a 17 point lead at the head of the driver and co-driver standings, Ogier and Ingrassia will be aiming to maintain and extend that lead ahead of the season showdown.

Previous starts: 9
Best result: 1st (2016, 2014 and 2013)

Sébastien Ogier said:
“We’re feeling fully refreshed after the break and ready to get back to business. Spain is always an enjoyable event. Its mixed surface makes it truly unique and the fans are so enthusiastic. I have a lot of special memories here, and it would be nice to add to them next week.

“Opening the road is a good thing in one sense as it means that we are back in the lead of the championship. But if it’s dry the championship lead also comes with its challenges and we’ll need to work hard to minimise the time loss through the opening gravel stages.

“Then, it’s onto the fast, smooth asphalt that this event is famed for. We had a one-day test to get used to this circuit-like asphalt and the car felt pretty good. We completed a lot of kilometres for a one-day test, and that sees us well prepared to deliver our best.

“With the championships so close, that’s exactly what we will have to deliver. We have a 17 point lead, but with 90 points still available there remains all to play for and we all need to work together to maximise our potential – starting with Rally Spain.”

TÄNAK AND JÄRVEOJA
THIRD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Fresh from victory at the previous round in Germany, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja have proven performance on both gravel and asphalt.

As such, next week’s dual-surface encounter poses no apprehension and the Estonians are keen to deliver their best performance at the Spanish fixture – extending both their and the team’s championship position.

During the summer break, Tänak hasn’t strayed too far from his Ford Fiesta WRC, and was behind the wheel at Rallyday in the UK – entertaining the thousands of fans as he delivered the debut public appearance of a new-generation World Rally Car on UK soil.

Previous starts: 4
Best result: 6th (2016)

Ott Tänak said:
“I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel. It was really nice to have some time at home with the family, but I have to admit that I was also starting to miss the thrill of competition!

“We’ve proved that we can be competitive on both gravel and asphalt, so I’m not daunted by the mixed surface of Spain. Going from one surface to the next in the same weekend can be a little strange at first, but we all get up to speed pretty quickly.

“The gravel roads are really nice with a mix of fast and technical sections and we had a Tarmac test in Spain last week which reminded me just how amazing those roads are. They’re so smooth and it really is like driving on a circuit in some places.

“With both championships so close at the moment, I think we’re in for an interesting weekend and we’ll certainly be aiming to deliver our best for both the manufacturers’ and the drivers’.”

EVANS AND BARRITT
SIXTH IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Elfyn Evans hasn’t had the best of fortunes at Rally Spain, but the Welshman is eager to put that right next week. Just two points shy of the top-five in the drivers’ standings, there remains all to play for and a strong result could elevate all three M-Sport drivers into the overall top-five.

Armed with a new gravel tyre, Evans also has one of the championship’s most experienced co-drivers at his side as Dan Barritt celebrates his 100th WRC start in Spain.

During the summer break, Evans joined team mate Tänak at Rallyday before venturing to Red Bull Hardline – supporting his fellow Red Bull athletes at what is hailed one of the toughest downhill mountain bike races in the world.

Previous starts: 4
Best result: 14th (2014)

Elfyn Evans said:
“As the only mixed-surface event on the calendar, Rally Spain is really unique. I’ve not had the best of luck there in the past, but we’ll be hoping to put that right this year.

“The gravel stages can be quite technical and on the Terra Alta stage we have long sections of asphalt in amongst the gravel. That can make the car move around quite a lot and you have to drive with the whole stage in mind.

“It’s quite a strategic rally in that sense and you have to think about the long game with a day and a half of pure Tarmac to follow the gravel. The weather could also prove a deciding factor so it’ll be interesting to see what the Spanish forecasts have to offer us this year.

“With the championship so close, this event could be really crucial and we’re all determined to deliver our best.”

Jon Armstrong Quotes Pre Spain

Posted: October 2, 2017 7:27 AM

Jon Armstrong (WRC 2) said:
Since Germany, I’ve not had a lot of seat time but did manage to get a couple of gravel kilometre with the Fiesta R5 thanks to Enda McCormack. Apart from that, my preparation has involved spending a lot of time in the gym as well as using the simulator and doing some homework on the stages.

“This event is really unique with one day on gravel before switching straight to Tarmac. This is probably the biggest challenge as you have to flick the reset button overnight which some drivers do better than others.

“The gravel can be rough in places, especially if there is rain, so I hope it stays dry. The other challenge is making your Pacenotes for the wide Spanish Tarmac. It can be a tricky one to get right so I’ll be making sure that I get a good feel for the road on the recce.

“I think we showed some good speed in Germany, and I will be looking to turn that into more consistent pace next week. We won the DDFT round in Spain last year, so I’m pretty confident about the stages and can’t wait to attack them with the Fiesta R5.

“The top-three in WRC 2 is possible, but we’ll have to deliver a clean and consistent run throughout the weekend if we want to achieve that goal.”

Entry List

Posted: September 19, 2017 7:44 AM

MEEKE, LEFEBVRE AND AL QASSIMI TO DRIVE CITROEN C3 WRCs IN SPAIN

Posted: September 5, 2017 12:53 PM

After a six-week break, the World Rally Championship returns to action with the RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de Espana (5-8 October).

Three C3 WRCs have been entered for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. They will be driven by Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle, Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau and Khalid Al-Qassimi/Chris Patterson.

In Spain to take part in recce, Craig Breen/Scott Martin will then contest the last two rounds of the season: Wales Rally GB (26-29 October) and Rally Australia (16-19 November).

Citroën Racing would like to wish Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger the best of luck, who will be making their debut for a new team after contesting three rallies in the C3 WRC.

Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal
"As a mixed surface event, Rally de España matches the qualities of the C3 WRC pretty closely and we hope we can be among the frontrunners again. Quick on both gravel and tarmac, Kris Meeke will hopefully be able to build on the confidence he acquired during the second leg in Germany, and aim to secure a positive result. Stéphane Lefebvre, whose involvement was announced several weeks ago, will also be looking to confirm his progress. Lastly, Khalid Al Qassimi will be driving the third C3 at a rally that he particularly enjoys. Obviously, Craig Breen's fans will be disappointed that he is not competing in Spain, but I have to contend with budget restrictions that mean we can’t enter any more cars. At the start of the season, Craig's programme was planned over eleven rallies and we considered, in consultation with Craig, that it was preferable for him to be competing in Wales and Australia instead. I would like to congratulate Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger on securing a new drive for next season. I really enjoyed working with them and it's a good thing for the WRC that they are back in the championship full-time. Andreas was one of the options we considered when working on our driver line-up for 2018, but when it came to making a final decision, we decided not to pursue it."

Hyundai Motorsport adjusts WRC driver line-up

Posted: September 5, 2017 12:51 PM

Hyundai Motorsport has made an adjustment to its crew line-up for the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship with Norwegian driver Andreas Mikkelsen joining the team for Rally de Espana, alongside Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

Mikkelsen will compete in all three remaining rounds of the championship – in Spain, Wales GB and Australia – together with his co-driver Anders Jæger-Synnevaag.

All three of Hyundai Motorsport’s existing crews will remain under contract with the team but the specific driver line-up will differ in each of the remaining rounds of the season, details of which will be announced in due course.

Hyundai Motorsport has lost ground in the Manufacturers’ Championship in recent rallies, so the difficult decision to adjust crews has been made in an effort to close the gap to M-Sport in the final three rounds.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said:
“Reaching this decision was not easy, but we felt it was necessary to reaffirm ourselves in the championship battle. Discussions with Andreas have been ongoing since he was out of a drive but we had nothing to offer him, as our line-up was fixed. However, with us losing ground, we decided to re-evaluate the situation. We had an open discussion with all three of our crews, and informed them of our decision to make this adjustment. The precise line-up for Spain has been made, but we will confirm our crews for Wales and Australia in due course. For now, though, we welcome Andreas and Anders into Hyundai Motorsport and look forward to getting our 2017 championship back on track from Spain onwards.”

Andreas Mikkelsen said:
“I am delighted to be joining Hyundai Motorsport and to be back in the WRC for the next three rallies. It is a great team with some very talented people, and the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC has proven itself to be a winning car on every surface. I had the chance to test on gravel earlier this year. I had a really positive feeling, which I am sure we will find again in these last three events of the season. My aim is to do all I can to help the team in the Manufacturers’ Championship. I have a great belief in them and the car, so I am super excited. Anders and I are ready for this and we hope it will be the start of something more long-term.”

Rally Guide / Event Website

Posted: June 22, 2017 4:11 AM






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