- Hyundai Motorsport is targeting a strong and consistent result across its three crews at the fastest event of the year, Rally Finland, the tenth round of the 2021 World Rally Championship season
- Craig Breen and Paul Nagle will join Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe and Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja for the 19-stage rally, which will be held in autumn for the very first time
- The team aims to demonstrate the same performance of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC from recent events, having finished on the podium in every single event so far this year.
September 24, 2021 – Hyundai Motorsport is ready to fly through the Finnish forests at the tenth round of the 2021 World Rally Championship (WRC) season, Rally Finland, where it will target a strong all-round performance with all three of its crews next weekend (October 1-3).
Hyundai Motorsport is aiming to continue its momentum from recent events, where it has demonstrated the performance of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC across a variety of surfaces. At the previous round of the season, Acropolis Rally, Estonian crew Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja secured second place, their third podium of the season, with Dani Sordo and Cándido Carrera fourth. Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe battled back from a power steering issue on Friday to recover to an eighth place finish on Sunday.
With the similarities to Rally Estonia, Hyundai Motorsport will field the same trio of crews on the gravel roads of Rally Finland. Neuville/Wydaeghe and Tänak/Järveoja will be joined by Craig Breen and Paul Nagle – the Irish crew’s first rally since their impressive podium at Ypres Rally Belgium.
The second of two visits to the country this year, Rally Finland will feature a markedly different profile to its Arctic counterpart as well as previous editions of the fast and furious event. With the event being held in autumn for the very first time, the conditions of the roads could become softer or rougher depending on the weather, with a potential for ice overnight as a result of cooler temperatures.
19 stages cover 287.11km of competitive distance at the Jyväskylä-based event. After shakedown on Friday morning, a mixed-surface street stage in the centre of the city opens the rally before crews head west to tackle five stages. Saturday is the longest day of the event, with nine stages comprising over half of the rally’s total distance. Two stages are run twice on Sunday to round out the fastest rally of the season.
Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “Our target for this weekend has to be consistency across our crews with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. With its similarities to Rally Estonia, we have the potential to have a strong result if we work together well as a team and minimise mistakes and mishaps. Although Thierry and Craig finished on the podium in Estonia, we were left wondering what could have been with Ott, and now is our chance to put that right. The championship fight continues, and we need to maximise the remaining rallies to keep moving forward.”
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Difficult return to gravel for Belgians last time out in Greece
- Looking to secure second podium in Finland in 2021
- First WRC event since podium in Belgium
- Irish crew aiming to replicate strong performance of Estonia
Breen said: “As a crew we tend to go well on events with this kind of profile, and I think this could be another strong event for us given our current form. The roads evolve every year, and as we’ve had a two-year break I think we will notice a lot of changes. In terms of set-up, you need a car that gives you confidence to carry the speed on the roads, and a stable rear will enable you to really chuck the car into those long, fast corners and jumps. It’s the rally where you have to be the most committed. I’m still searching for my first win – it feels like it has been eluding us now for some time, but we are getting closer and Finland will present one of the better opportunities this year, so we will do everything in our power to make it happen.”
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