Hyundai Motorsport Rally Estonia day 1 review

Hyundai Motorsport Rally Estonia day 1 review

15.07.2022: • Hyundai Motorsport has completed the opening day of Rally Estonia – round seven of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – with two cars inside the top-five • Estonian crew Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja hold a provisional podium in third place ov

 
•    Hyundai Motorsport has completed the opening day of Rally Estonia – round seven of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – with two cars inside the top-five


•    Estonian crew Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja hold a provisional podium in third place overall after finding useful pace in their Hyundai i20 N Rally1


•    Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe finished Friday in fifth, while Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson nursed their car home after hitting a rock and damaging the power steering.
 

 

Hyundai Motorsport holds a provisional podium position at the conclusion of the first full day of action at Rally Estonia, the seventh round of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
 



Home heroes Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja lead the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team charge in third place after Friday’s stages, 44.3 seconds from the lead. The pair found some good pace from their Hyundai i20 N Rally1 during the day as they aim to secure a podium in front of their local fans.
 


Team-mates Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe were classified two places further back in fifth after a strategically cautious approach on the fast, narrow Estonian roads. Oliver Solberg and Elliott Edmondson were running inside the top ten but hit a rock in the afternoon loop, which broke their power steering. They fought hard to nurse their car home to complete a demanding day.
 


Following a Super Special near the Tartu Service Park on Thursday evening, the first full day of action ventured north and south of the city over eight stages.  A repeated loop started with the longest stage of the weekend, Peipsääre (SS2/SS6, 24.35km), and Mustvee (SS3/SS7, 17.09km) in the north, followed by Raanitsa (SS4/SS8, 21.45km) and Vastsemõisa (SS5/SS9, 6.70km) to the south.
 


Lunchtime service separated the two loops, which covered a total distance of 139.18km and included localised heavy rain, especially on the second pass. Slippery, muddy roads in the final stage of the day created a late challenge for all crews. For Tänak and Järveoja, issues with the in-car heater, after a pipe came loose, required dexterous efforts from the co-driver to keep the windscreen clear in the treacherous conditions, as they tried to minimise the time loss.
 





Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (#8 Hyundai i20 N Rally1)

•    Estonian crew hold a provisional third place after a string of top-three stage times

•    Late drama in SS9 after heater pipe came loose inside the car, limiting visibility
 


Tänak said: “
Conditions were constant in the morning, but that was the opposite of what we faced this afternoon with demanding, inconsistent roads. There was water here and there, some dry places and it was just a lot more difficult. The issue in the final stage wasn’t as dramatic as it looked; a pipe came off from the windscreen heater and we had no visibility. The weather was tough anyway, so it was probably better not to see what was happening outside.

Hopefully, we’ve been able to learn something in these circumstances and can take that forward. It’s important for us to get as much information from the car as we can. We are still in the competition and remain fully committed. Normally, I’d like to be competitive in Estonia; sadly, it’s not really happening so far this year but as we’ve seen today anything can change, so it’s not over yet.”
 





Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (#11 Hyundai i20 N Rally1)


•    Solid fifth for the Belgian crew after a deliberately cautious strategy

•    Seven seconds from fourth place after Friday’s eight stages
 


Neuville said:
“At the end of today, things are pretty much as we expected. We knew it was going to be a tough one for us. Generally, my target throughout the day was to improve the handling of the car. I wasn’t 100% confident but I was able to drive with good speed, set some good split times in some stages and have some fun in the tricky conditions.


We had mixed feelings about the morning loop, the first two stages went well, but after that we went wrong with the set-up to try and find something to suit these very narrow sections. We arrived at midday service in fourth and wanted to keep that position.



Unfortunately, we weren’t able to, but we are just seven seconds away. This is a special event; I don’t want to put my rear wheels in the ditches when I don’t know what’s there; instead, we try to stay out of trouble and hope for another clean day tomorrow. The weather forecast certainly looks interesting.”
 




Crew Notes: Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (#2 Hyundai i20 N Rally1)

•    Crew struggled for pace and grip on the opening loop
•    Hit a rock in SS7 that broke the power steering, forcing them to nurse the car home
 


Solberg said: “
We've made it to the end of the day at Rally Estonia, but it's fair to say things have not gone to plan so far. After a tough morning where we really struggled to find any grip, we had a puncture on the first stage this afternoon, then touched a big rock in a corner on the stage after and the power steering broke.


We tried to fix it but couldn’t and lost a lot of minutes with time penalties and fighting the issue through the next stages. I can tell you it's not easy driving these cars without power steering! But we're still here, so let's try and stay positive, go again tomorrow, and hope for better.”
 




Deputy Team Director Julien Moncet said:
“A bit of a mixed day. This morning, with better grip, we showed reasonable pace with both Thierry and Ott, both fighting for good positions. Oliver, on the other hand, was struggling with car balance and lost confidence. In the afternoon, in quite variable conditions with rain and lower grip, we lost some of our pace.


Unfortunately, on Ott’s side, he had a problem with the windscreen demister and suffered from bad visibility that lost him some time in the final stage of the day. Thierry was struggling with the car balance, while Oliver hit a rock and damaged his power steering. He managed to bring the car back but lost a lot of time in the process.


We head into evening service and will see what we can do with the set-up for tomorrow - potentially facing more tricky weather - to improve the car behaviour but there is no magic fix. We can only do limited changes, but even so we’ll keep pushing.”
 



Saturday at a glance


•    Nine stages will run on Saturday’s schedule, in and around Otepää in the south of the country


•    A four-stage loop will be held twice, covering Elva (11.73km), Mäeküla (10.27km), Otepää (17.08km) and Neeruti (7.60km), split by a lunchtime service


•    The day concludes with a return to the short 1.66km Tartu special stage.
 




Classification after Day One

 
1    K. Rovanperä    J. Halttunen    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    1:16:19.7
2    E. Evans    S. Martin    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +11.7
3    O. Tänak     M. Järveoja    Hyundai i20 N Rally1    +44.3
4    E. Lappi    J. Ferm    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +1:05.9
5    T. Neuville     M. Wydaeghe    Hyundai i20 N Rally1    +1:12.9
6    A. Fourmaux    A. Coria    Ford Puma Rally1    +2:08.1
7    T. Katsuta    A. Johnston    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +2:10.9
8    G. Greensmith    J. Andersson    Ford Puma Rally1    +2:29.4
9    P. Loubet    V. Landais    Ford Puma Rally1    +3:59.0




 
Thomas Villette,    Nicoletta Russo - photos  Hyundai



 


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/hyundai-motorsport-rally-estonia-day1-review---240171.html

15.07.2022 / MaP

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