Hyundai Motorsport Preview – Rally Estonia
Hyundai Motorsport returns to Rally Estonia, round seven of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with renewed motivation and determination
The team scored a memorable 1-2 result at the Estonian round last season with home hero Ott Tänak taking his first victory for Hyundai Motorsport
Craig Breen returns to compete in the event where he scored his debut podium for the team in 2020, as he joins Tänak and Thierry Neuville in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC line-up.
– Hyundai Motorsport will return to Rally Estonia this week, determined to rediscover its winning form as the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) enters its second half.
The team secured a confident 1-2 result on the fast gravel Estonian roads last season, an event that marked the re-start of the 2020 season. Hyundai Motorsport’s three WRC crews will be aiming to get its 2021 season back on track after a run of challenging rallies and unsatisfactory results.
The team will field the same trio of drivers as it did last season with Ott Tänak, Thierry Neuville and Craig Breen hoping to get up to speed quickly in their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars.
Estonians Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja dominated the 2020 edition of their home rally and return to their local event on the back of a third-placed podium finish in Safari Rally Kenya a fortnight ago.
Neuville, alongside new co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe, has impressed with strong performances so far this season, including four podium finishes. The crew was cruelly denied victory in Kenya but have plenty of hunger to rectify that in Estonia. Craig Breen and Paul Nagle, in their first event of the year since Croatia Rally, approach one of their favoured rallies, in which they scored their debut Hyundai Motorsport podium ten months ago.
Rally Estonia’s itinerary has been expanded to its full version for this year’s event, with familiar and tweaked stages, as well as new tests. The event will be run over 320 competitive kilometres and 24 stages, featuring high speed gravel routes and jumps, coupled with equally demanding technical sections.
Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “We have spent the short period since Safari Rally Kenya to review the issues we have encountered in recent events. There is only so much we can do in this time frame, but we head to Estonia with our motivation levels high, and a determination to show what we can achieve. Just because we finished 1-2 in last year’s Rally Estonia doesn’t automatically guarantee results this year; we must work as hard as we can, stay focused and extract all the performance we can from our car – which, by the way, has shown itself to be very fast on all events so far this season. There is always luck involved in rallying, of course, but we have to become more in control of our own destiny.”
Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (#42 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Irish crew head back to the scene of their first Hyundai Motorsport podium finish
First WRC event of the championship since Croatia back in April
Breen said: “Rally Estonia, for me, is one of the rallies I enjoy the most on the calendar. Last year, it presented Paul and me with one of the better moments in our career, when we finished in second place as part of a Hyundai 1-2. I am looking forward to going back there again; it’s an amazing rally with incredibly fast stages and hopefully we will be able to do a similar job this year.”
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