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Tour de Corse Review - 1 Apr 19

Rally victory for Hyundai on island of Corsica

Hyundai Motorsport has emerged as winners in the Tour de Corse in Bastia on Sunday, 31 March, after a dramatic Power Stage handed victory to Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul in round four of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

Having led the rally overnight on the island of Corsica, the Belgians were initially pushed back to second place after Sunday's opening stage, Eaux de Zilia (31,85 km), as Elfyn Evans built up an 11-second advantage.

With all still to play for in the 19,34 km Power Stage at Calvi, Neuville was on course for second place until a flat tyre for Evans handed victory to the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team crew.

The result marks Hyundai Motorsport's 11th victory in the WRC, its second Tour de Corse triumph and the team's first win of the 2019 season.

Spaniards Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio finished the 14-stage event in fourth place to add valuable points to Hyundai Motorsport's manufacturers' totals. The team has moved back to the top of the standings on 114 points, 12 clear of its nearest rivals Citroën, while 2 extra points in the Power Stage has given Neuville a two-point lead in the drivers' table.

All three Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC crews completed the grueling Corsican tarmac event with Sébastien Loeb in eighth place, having lost two minutes of time on the rally's opening stage on Friday.

Crew Notes ­– Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul:

Neuville, who has moved to the top of the drivers' championship on 82 points, said: “What an incredible rally and a fantastic result! I would like to extend my thoughts to Elfyn and Scott – I am really disappointed for them. It had been a great battle and they were the quicker crew this weekend.

“We didn't really know what had happened until we saw our mechanics atthe end. I pushed hard in the Power Stage and the points we've scored this weekend are hugely important for the championship. It is testament to the hard work of everyone at Hyundai Motorsport. We may not have been the fastest in outright pace, but there has been a significant improvement in our tarmac performance.”

Crew Notes –Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio:

Sordo said: “We came to Corsica with a target of taking a good amount of championship points for the team, and we have achieved that. We have shown some positive pace this weekend, most notably on Saturday's long stage, but we've also struggled at times. We didn't have the consistency we needed to fight for the podium but finishing fourth is not so bad. I am pleased to see us back on top of themanufacturers' standings.”

Crew Notes – Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena:

Loeb said: “A great result for the team today. Unfortunately, our own rally was effectively over after our issues in the opening stage on Friday. We lost so much time; we were on the back foot from then onwards. The motivation is not quite the same when there's nothing really to fight for.

“We tried instead to work on the car set-up, making adjustments that will benefit us for the future. Despite our challenges, it has still been an enjoyable rally, the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC has been nice to drive and I've had fun on the stages. Hopefully I can do better next time.”

Team director Andrea Adamo said: “We have arrived at the end of Tour de Corse in first position, but we cannot say that we have won this rally. We have inherited the victory as a result of a faster competitor's misfortune.

“We would have finished in second place – which itself would have been an encouraging result and thanks to the fantastic efforts of Thierry and Nicolas – but to win truly you have to be the fastest and on this occasion we were not. Taking first place is of course a very positive thing for our team.”

Next rally

The WRC moves back over the Atlantic for the next round of the championship, as Rally Argentina kicks off a South American double-header. The popular gravel rally takes place from 25 to 28 April.

Final results in Tour de Corse:

 

1

T. Neuville

N. Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC

3:22:59.0

2

S. Ogier

J. Ingrassia

Citroen C3 WRC

+40.3

3

E. Evans

S. Martin

Ford Fiesta WRC

+1:05.6

4

D. Sordo

C. del Barrio

Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC

+1:18.4

5

T. Suninen

M. Salminen

Ford Fiesta WRC

+1:24.6

6

O. Tanak

M. Jarveoja

Toyota Yaris WRC

+1:40.0

7

E. Lappi

J. Ferm

Citroen C3 WRC

+2:09.1

8

S. Loeb

D. Elena

Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC

+3:39.2

9

K. Meeke

S. Marshall

Toyota Yaris WRC

+5:06.3

10

J.M. Latvala

M. Anttila

Toyota Yaris WRC

+6:44.6

 

 

 

 

 

WRC Drivers' standings:

 

1

T. Neuville

82

2

S. Ogier

80

3

0. Tanak

77

4

E. Evans

43

5

K. Meeke

42

6

E. Lappi

26

7

S. Loeb

22

8

D. Sordo

16

9

J.M. Latvala

15

10

T. Suninen

14

11

A. Mikkelsen

12

 

 

WRC Manufacturers' Standings:

 

1

Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

114

2

Citroen Total World Rally Team

102

3

Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team

98

4

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

70

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