Hyundai aims to secure its maiden title in WRC at Rally Australia

Hyundai currently holds an 18-point lead

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By Olivier Ferret

9 November 2019 - 16:08
Hyundai aims to secure its maiden (...)

Hyundai Motorsport heads to Australia for the final round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) aiming to secure its maiden manufacturers’ title.

Victory and third place in the previous round, Rally de España, helped the team to increase its advantage in the classification to 18 points with 43 up for grabs in the season finale.

Rally Australia, the 14th and final round of an action-packed year of WRC, will bring the 2019 title chase to its culmination with 25 special stages run over a four-day itinerary.

Hyundai Motorsport will field three crews - Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul, Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio and Craig Breen/Paul Nagle – as it aims to finish the season on a high ‘down under’. The win in Spain was the team’s fourth victory of the year, having taken the top spot in Corsica, Argentina and Sardinia, and underscored the versatile performance of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

The dusty gravel forest tracks near to the Coffs Harbour located service park offer crews a tricky test to end the season with road position often playing a key role.

Team Director Andrea Adamo said: “We are approaching Rally Australia in the same way as every other event on this year’s calendar, with attention to detail, determination and a clear focus on securing a strong team result. Of course, there is a much bigger prize at stake at the end of it, but if we concentrate on managing the things in our control, doing a professional job, we have every chance of fulfilling our title ambitions. We know what we have to do, so our destiny is in our own hands.”

Neuville said: “I have always enjoyed Rally Australia, with its fast and flowing gravel stages through the forest. In recent years we have been among the first on the road, as will be the case again this time round, which brings with it some disadvantages. The cleaning effect is a bit more severe in this event so it won’t be easy for us. Even so, we will give our maximum effort in order to secure the manufacturers’ title. We have some great battles this season, and I expect Australia to deliver more of the same.”

Sordo said: “I am pleased to take part in Rally Australia and to play a role in helping the team’s championship target. It has been a few years since I competed in this event but it has always been a nice rally. The surface tends to be quite slippery on the opening pass, but you can benefit from a good road position. As the final round of the season, everyone will be focused on the championship. Our result in Spain helped to extend the team’s lead but there is still the most important part of the job still to complete in Australia.”

Breen said: “I really enjoy Rally Australia and it’s great to be heading back as part of the Hyundai Motorsport squad. Paul and I are looking forward to getting back in the i20 Coupe WRC and we’re delighted to have the chance to show what we can do. There are some nice roads in this rally with some incredibly beautiful landscapes, too. There is a lovely flow; it’s nice and fast in places as well. We are back with one mission: to help the team lock down the manufacturers’ championship. That’s what we fully intend to do.”

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