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Hyundai takes top spots on podium in Rally Argentina

Hyundai takes top spots on podium in Rally Argentina

Hyundai Motorsport has secured its second consecutive victory of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) on the weekend when Thierry Neuville triumphed in Rally Argentina ahead of team mate Andreas Mikkelsen.

The Belgian and his co-driver, Nicolas Gilsoul, took the win by 48,4 seconds with a calm and collected performance on the final morning of the rally. Norwegian duo Mikkelsen and Anders Jaeger-Amland took their best result to date as a Hyundai Motorsport crew with a strong run to second place on Sunday, their first podium finish since Rally Sweden 2018.

Completing a competitive weekend for the team, Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio took the no. 6 Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC to sixth place overall.

Rally Argentina presented plenty of drama and challenging conditions over the entire event. Sunday morning's itinerary covered two of the most demanding and iconic stages of the season, with two runs through El Condor (16,43 km) and a solitary attempt at Mina Clavero-Giulio Cesare (20,30 km).

The second pass of El Condor was also the Power Stage. Neuville finished the rally with a flourish, taking three extra points for the third fastest time, despite a cautious approach, and Sordo scoring two additional points for his personal total.

Securing maximum manufacturer points for the 1-2 finish, Hyundai Motorsport has strengthened its position at the top of the championship with 157 points, 37 clear of its nearest challenger, Toyota. Neuville also extended his lead in the drivers' classification to 10 points ahead of Sébastien Ogier.

The overall result represents Hyundai's third-ever 1-2 lockout in WRC, its 12th victory and 11th double podium finish. The team has now achieved 49 individual podium positions since 2014.

Crew Notes – Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul:

Neuville said: “This is a really great feeling! The car has been absolutely perfect all weekend and I have felt comfortable, quick and in control throughout the event. We have taken some strong stage wins and shown the performance of our i20 Coupé WRC in some very challenging conditions.

“It has been an amazing team result, not only at the rally, but also everyone working tirelessly in Germany. I am so thankful to everyone for their hard work, dedication and professionalism. We have scored some important points for the championship and I am really proud of what we have achieved this weekend."

Crew Notes – Andreas Mikkelsen/ Anders Jreger-Amland:

Mikkelsen said: “It's been a really tough rally, so I am overjoyed with the result. We have had to wait a long time for this, and we've battled through some frustrating times. It might be a second place, but it really feels like a victory to me. We found great pace from the car this weekend and finally been able to show what we – and the car – are capable of. "

Crew Notes – Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio:

Sordo said: “I am really happy for the team and pleased that our manufacturers' position has been strengthened. I really wanted to push for third place today, but I just didn't have the pace that was needed. I have done my best all weekend, but ultimately the 1-2 result for Thierry and Andreas gives the team maximum points, which is the most important thing.”

Team director Andrea Adamo said: “Thierry and Nicolas have done an amazing job this weekend, as have Andreas and Anders. I am particularly moved by this 1-2 result because I know what we are giving our crews to compete with. They are filling the gap with some incredible performances.

“This is the most emotional weekend since I have taken over this role because ­– maybe for some kind of planetary alignment – we have seen huge success for Hyundai in motorsport series across the world. Hyundai Slovenia took a 1-2 in the Slovenia Rally Championship, and we saw an amazing result in the UK with Tom Cave and Jari Huttunen finishing first and third.

“Hyundai customers also celebrated a 1-2 in WTCR Race of Hungary with Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz. The Hyundai i30 N TCR also proved a dominant force in TCR Europe, also in Hungary. I know I have been demanding a lot from everyone at Hyundai Motorsport, asking them to push hard to make progress. I hope these results pay back each and every one of their efforts. I am an incredibly proud team director today.”

Next rally

The South American double header continues onto unchartered territory for WRC, as Rally Chile takes place over the weekend of 10 to 12 May.

Final results in Rally Argentina:

1

T. Neuville

N. Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC

3:20:54.6

2

A. Mikkelsen

A. Jaeger-Amland

Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC

+48.4

3

S. Ogier

J. Ingrassia

Citroën C3 WRC

+1:04.8

4

K. Meeke

S. Marshall

Toyota Yaris WRC

+1:06.2

5

J.M. Latvala

M. Anttila

Toyota Yaris WRC

+1:21.1

6

D. Sordo

C. del Barrio

Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC

+1:26.7

7

T. Suninen

M. Salminen

Ford Fiesta WRC

+4:57.3

8

O. Tänak

M. Järveoja

Toyota Yaris WRC

+14:24.8

9

M. Østberg

T. Eriksen

Citroën C3 R5

+14:28.5

10

P. Heller

M. Martf

Ford Fiesta R5

+20:14.5

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