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Spain - 25-27 Oct 19

Posted: October 24, 2019 9:24 PM - 1714 Hits

Round 13 - 2019 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Spain 2019) Also available at: rally-base results & ewrc-results.com
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Spain (Catalunya)

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
Shakedown - Thu - 08:01
SS1 Fri - 08:23
SS7 Sat - 08:00
SS14 Sun - 06:41 (Winter Time)

Hyundai Motorsport Preview – Round 13: Rally de España

Posted: October 19, 2019 3:13 PM

Hyundai Motorsport is aiming to extend its lead in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) as the season moves onto the penultimate round, Rally de España, next weekend.

The manufacturers’ title chase has heated up in recent events, as the 2019 season approaches its thrilling conclusion. Second place at Wales Rally GB represented Hyundai Motorsport’s 11th podium of the season and allowed the team to retain an eight-point advantage over its nearest rivals with two rounds of the championship remaining.

Three Hyundai crews will contest the 17-stage mixed surface rally, which begins with predominantly gravel roads on Friday before turning into a pure tarmac event on the final two days. Teams will have a unique 75-minute flexi service at the end of Friday’s six stages to transform the set-up of the cars to cope with the change of terrain.

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul will be joined by Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio and Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars for the 13th round of the season. All crews tested in the Tarragona region last week. Loeb and Sordo completed half a day apiece on gravel with all three crews completing a full day each on tarmac in preparation for the rally.

Hyundai Motorsport has taken three podium results from Spain in previous seasons, twice for Sordo, once in 2016 and again as part of a double top-three alongside Neuville in 2017. Loeb, meanwhile, will begin this year’s rally, his first WRC event since Portugal in June, as defending Rally de España winner.

Team Director Andrea Adamo said:
“We have one objective from Rally de España, and that is to extend our lead in the manufacturers’ championship. Of course, we know it is far from straightforward with the level of competition that we have seen in the WRC this season, but we will give it everything we have. There are just two events remaining and there can be no missed opportunities. I am confident in our crew line up, with Thierry determined to keep his drivers’ title hopes alive, alongside Dani and Sébastien, who are both strong contenders on the mixed surfaces in Spain. We want to be in control of our own destiny.”

Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Third in the drivers’ championship, 41 points adrift of the lead
Six podiums scored in 2019 so far, including two victories

Neuville said: “We are approaching a critical part of the season, where the championship really intensifies. Our aim is clear: to fight for victory and to outscore our rivals. At the same time, we know that Rally de España is a unique event due to the fact that we are running one day on gravel and two days on tarmac. It has very specific characteristics and it is truly the only one like this on the calendar. It poses challenges to which we all look forward. We have shown that we are strong contenders on both surfaces this year and we will keep pushing as hard as we can for the championship.”

Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Spaniards return for first WRC event since Turkey
Home heroes looking to emulate rally winning performance from Sardinia

Sordo said: “I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in Spain, my home rally. This is always a very special event as we compete on both gravel and tarmac in the same weekend. It’s nice to start on gravel. With our advantageous position, starting later on the road, we can hopefully gain some time. Then there’s a big fight on tarmac as there are fast crews in every team, so it promises to be an exciting event. As it is in Spain, it is also double motivation for me. The spectators come to see everybody but I think they support the Spanish drivers a little bit more than the others normally!”

Crew Notes: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (#19 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Nine-time world champions taking part in first WRC event since Portugal
Returning to Spain as reigning winners of Rally de España

Loeb said: “For me, Rally de España is a rally I’ve always enjoyed. I have won it a lot of times but what I like the most is the location: it’s a nice place close to the sea. The mixed surface is something I always enjoyed in the past and it’s the only event we completely change the set-up of the car in the middle of the rally. We are confident we can be on the pace and support the team to extend the lead in the manufacturers’ battle.”

Weekend at a glance
17 stages run over a competitive distance of 325.56km
Ceremonial start takes place in Salou on Thursday before stages get underway on Friday
Six stages run across two loops – the all-gravel Gandesa (7km) and Horta-Bot (19km), as well as the mixed gravel-tarmac timed test of La Fatarella-Vilalba (38.85km).
A 75-minute service on Friday evening sees mechanics transform the car spec from gravel to tarmac ahead of Saturday’s seven stages: a repeat loop of Savalla (14.08km), Querol (21.26km) and El Montmell (24.40km), as well as a shorter 2.24km run at Salou.
Sunday takes in four stages with Riudecanyes (16.35km) and La Mussara (20.72km) run twice, the latter as the Power Stage.

Toyota Yaris WRC set for crucial mixed-surface spectacular

Posted: October 19, 2019 3:12 PM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is confident of taking its strong form onto both gravel and asphalt in the season’s only true mixed-surface event, Rally de España on October 24-27. Heading into the penultimate round of the year, the stakes are high: Toyota Yaris WRC driver Ott Tänak leads the drivers’ standings by 28 points and could clinch his first title in Spain, while the team is just eight points from the lead in the manufacturers’ standings after wins in three of the last four events.

The rally is based in Salou on the Costa Daurada to the south of Barcelona and consists of one day of medium-speed gravel stages followed by two days on smooth and fast asphalt roads that are often likened to racing circuits. Uniquely, teams convert their cars from gravel to asphalt specification in an extended evening service after Friday’s opening leg, and drivers have to quickly adjust to the change of surface the following morning.

Following shakedown and a ceremonial start in Salou on Thursday, this year’s rally begins on Friday with two loops of three stages held mostly on gravel, although there are some sections on asphalt in the La Fatarella – Vilalba stage, the longest of the weekend at 38.85 kilometres. Saturday has two loops of three asphalt stages, followed by a short stage in Salou itself. Sunday consists of two runs over the Riudecanyes and La Mussara stages, separated by service in Salou, with the second pass of the latter test as the rally-ending Power Stage.

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“We are on a good run at the moment and we need to keep pushing for the best results in Spain and Australia, with the drivers’, co-drivers’, and manufacturers’ titles in our sights. We have been preparing for Spain just as planned, with our pre-event tests on both gravel and asphalt. The mix of surfaces can mean that this is a tricky rally to get right, but we are confident in how our car performs on both types of road. At the same time, we are taking nothing for granted and everyone is working hard to provide our drivers with the strongest car possible.”

Martin Järveoja and Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“I’m looking forward to Spain. As always, I will aim to do my best, but we need to be smart. We know that it could be tricky for us on the first day, as we’ll be running first on the road on gravel. The weather could change things too: We saw last year that we can easily get rain in Spain at this time of year. But I believe that our performance should be good on both surfaces: We were already fast on this event last year and hopefully that will be the case again this time, and we can get the result we need.”

Miikka Anttila and Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“The combination of gravel and asphalt in Spain is something I’ve always really liked. The gravel stages are quite smooth but very slippery, while the asphalt roads are best that we have in the championship: really smooth and fast. I had a test on asphalt in Spain last week and I had a really nice feeling in the car. I’m very motivated and looking forward to being back in the car, fighting for the best possible result as we try to win the manufacturers’ championship again.”

Seb Marshall and Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)
“Spain is one of my favourite events on the calendar. I’ve always enjoyed the mixed-surface challenge, and last time I did the rally in 2017, I managed to take the win. I’ve had a really good feeling with the Yaris WRC on asphalt so far, so I’m especially looking forward to that part of it. On gravel, we know there will be a couple of drivers who will have ideal road positions and can be very strong on this event. With the manufacturers’ championship being so close now, we’ve got a job to do and we’re certainly going to have to be on our game.”


Posted: October 19, 2019 3:10 PM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen will mount a mixed-surface challenge next week as they tackle the FIA World Rally Championship’s only combined-surface event at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España.

The EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC has proven pace on gravel and asphalt, and both crews will be looking to deliver a strong performance next week. Having completed a comprehensive three-day test on asphalt roads around Tarragona, the team are feeling well prepared and ready to push for a top result.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“Having proved our speed on all surfaces over the past 10 months, we’re keen to translate that into another strong result – and that’s something Elfyn and Teemu are both capable of delivering next week. The competition is strong, but so are we and we’ve performed well here in the past. We have two events left this season, and we’re still hungry for that top step of the podium.

“We secured a double podium here last year, and Elfyn certainly proved his pace in Wales with seven stage wins and the speed to have challenged for the win. Teemu too has come a long way this year, and Spain could provide the perfect platform for him to showcase what he’s learnt. His Tarmac pace has been really impressive this season, so that should work in his favour.

“This is also an event where the technicians really come to the fore – transforming the Ford Fiesta WRCs from gravel to Tarmac specification in just 75 minutes. Ensuring everything runs as smoothly as possible, the preparation has been done in the workshop this week but when you see it live and against the clock it really is quite impressive to watch.

“The full suspension, brakes, gearbox, rear differential, steering rack and cross members are all changed – with the lads working seamlessly as one. If you’re in service on Friday night, I highly recommend getting a good spot to watch!”

As the only mixed-surface event on the calendar, RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España provides a unique challenge. Testing the world’s best drivers on gravel as well as asphalt, the event also showcases the skills of the technicians as the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs are converted from gravel to Tarmac trim in an extended 75 minute service on Friday evening.

Narrow and twisty loose-surface stages in the mountains west of Salou start the rally before the action turns to the circuit-like asphalt the event has become famed for. The crews must adapt quickly to the demands of driving on different surfaces, and the technicians must ensure they deliver a car capable of peak performance no matter the terrain.

Attention to detail is paramount, and the team are well prepared for the biggest service of the year. Taking precise measurements and geometry of both specifications in the workshop this week, our engineers and technicians have taken detailed steps to ensure everything is millimetre-perfect when they come to make the change live and against the clock.

Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin proved ones to watch when they returned to competition earlier this month. Setting seven fastest stage times through the forests of Wales Rally GB, the British pairing had rally-winning pace and will be keen to see that continue next week. Evans has good knowledge of the Spanish stages, and will want to replicate the podium he secured at the event last year.

Previous starts: 6
Best result: 3rd (2018)

Elfyn Evans said:
“It was great to be back in Wales, and to see that our pace was strong enough to challenge for the top results. We want to see that pace continue in Spain and I see no reason why we can’t do that. I feel as though we have some unfinished business this year, and I’m keen to deliver some strong results over these final events.

“As the only mixed-surface event on the calendar there’s nothing else quite like this rally. The gravel stages can be quite technical in places, and the asphalt roads are as close as we get to rallying on a race track in full Tarmac trim.

“We completed an asphalt test earlier this week and the feeling is good, so I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel and seeing what we can do.”

Proving his speed on all surfaces this year Teemu Suninen has also developed a consistency under the guidance of experienced co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen. The battle of the Finnish drivers is one of the tightest in the championship with Suninen, Lappi and Latvala all separate by a single point – and the youngest Finn wants to come out on top!

Previous starts: 4
Best result: 8th / 1st WRC (2017)

Teemu Suninen said:
“We completed a three-day test with Elfyn last week, and got to experience three different types of Tarmac roads. We know that the car is very good on this surface, and on gravel as well, so I’m looking forward to showing what we can do next week.

“My aim is to secure a strong result, and it would be great if we were able to challenge for the podium. The battle between the three Finns in the championship is also really exciting, and I want to do well in that fight.

“We need to be focused, and I will try to find a good rhythm straight away. This is a rally that I have done every year since 2015, so it is quite familiar and if I can get everything right then I think we can challenge for a good result.”


Posted: October 19, 2019 3:08 PM

M-Sport will run two EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 Mk IIs on the mixed-surface stages of next week’s RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España as Gus Greensmith and ‘Pedro’ each contest the final round of their respective seasons.

Having secured victories on the asphalt of Monte-Carlo as well as the gravel of Turkey, Greensmith is a proven competitor on both surfaces and will be keen to challenge for another win when he returns to the WRC 2 Pro series next week.

Contesting his first season in the FIA World Rally Championship, ‘Pedro’ has gained a wealth of experience this year and scored points on three of the four events he has contested with the M?Sport team – something he’ll be keen to replicate as he completes his WRC 2 season.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“Gus and ‘Pedro’ will both bring their year to a close in Spain, and we’re keen to see them finish what has been two really successful seasons on a high. With these two drivers you can see just how versatile the Ford Fiesta R5 Mk II is, and it’s great to see two very different drivers excelling with this new car at two very different stages of their careers.

“Gus secured his first victories this year, and has proved himself to be a real contender on gravel as well as Tarmac. He played a role in the development of the Ford Fiesta R5 Mk II, and it was very satisfying for him to secure the car’s first win with stage-winning performances at every event he’s contested so far. He’s given us a few heart-in-mouth moments, but there’s never a dull moment and it’s great to see how he’s developed this year.

“We’ve also seen a really strong performance from ‘Pedro.’ This is his first season in the FIA World Rally Championship, and he knows how strong the competition is and how vital it is to have experience of the events. But he’s shown some really good speed and become a regular point-scorer in WRC 2 – something we want to help him deliver again next week.”

Gus Greensmith said:
“It would be great to round off my season with another win next week. The speed is there and I have a really good feeling with the Ford Fiesta R5 Mk II, so let’s see what we can do. I’d love to repeat my wins from Monte and Turkey – although less dramatically than in Turkey!

“I particularly like the gravel stages in Spain. They’re similar to the ones you find in Portugal, but with a few added challenges.

“But the biggest challenge comes on Saturday morning with the change to Tarmac. The technicians change almost the entire set-up of the car on Friday evening, and we have to be quick to adapt straight away.

“This is where the rally can be won and lost, and you can’t afford to lose any time getting used to the surface change. You need to be on it.”
‘Pedro’ said:
“I won three Costa Brava rallies in Spain, but this event is something completely different with two very challenging road surfaces.

“Firstly we will have to tackle the gravel stages, some of which include stretches of asphalt which is a very demanding experience.

“Then the mechanics will change the cars and we’ll tackle the Tarmac stages – some of which can get quite dirty with us running further down the field.

“This won’t be an easy rally for sure, but the important thing for us will be to get the kilometres and the experience.”

Hyundai Crews for Spain

Posted: September 2, 2019 9:25 AM

Rally Guide / Event Website

Posted: July 22, 2019 9:29 AM

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