Hyundai Motorsport has finished the penultimate day of Rally Estonia in third and fourth positions

Hyundai Motorsport has finished the penultimate day of Rally Estonia in third and fourth positions

16.07.2022: ...after a consistent and reliable performance • In their home event, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja continue to hold a provisional podium, one place ahead of Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe


...after a consistent and reliable performance


•    In their home event, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja continue to hold a provisional podium, one place ahead of Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe


•    Oliver Solberg and Elliott Edmondson have flown through Saturday’s stages – literally - setting encouraging times and spectacular scenes in the afternoon loop.
 

 


Hyundai Motorsport has strengthened its chances of a podium result in this weekend’s Rally Estonia, round seven of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship, with Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville holding third and fourth positions respectively at the end of Saturday’s running.
 


The Estonian driver and his compatriot co-driver enjoyed a consistent penultimate day as they racked up more top-three times across the nine stages. Despite losing ground to the leading two crews, the home stars hold an advantage of more than one minute over their team-mates in fourth.
 


Neuville and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe continued their solid rhythm to move up one place on the overall classification, having started the day in fifth spot. Meanwhile, Oliver Solberg and Elliott Edmondson bounced back from their power steering issues on Friday to set some impressive times, particularly in the afternoon loop, including a spectacular sideways jump!
 


Crews faced four stages in each of Saturday’s loops: Elva (SS10/SS14, 11.73km), Mäeküla (SS11/SS15, 10.27km), Otepää (SS12/SS16, 17.08km) and Neeruti (SS13/SS17, 7.60km). The day concluded with a return to the short 1.66km Tartu special.
 


Hyundai Motorsport has continued to enjoy a generally reliable weekend with its Hyundai i20 N Rally1 cars. The only significant time loss of Saturday came in SS12 when Solberg collected grass in his radiator after a heavy cut early in the stage; the blockage caused his engine to overheat, forcing him to stop to remove the offending obstruction.



Encouragingly, though, all three crews have found more confidence in their cars in tricky and unpredictable conditions, despite lacking the ultimate pace to fight for leading positions in this event.
 





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



•    Consistency has been key for the Estonian crew on Saturday as they held onto third place

•    Six top-three stage times, including second fastest in the repeat of Mäeküla (SS15)
 


Tänak said:
“It has been a smooth day with no dramas. We have been discovering a bit more with the car and making some good steps, so from that point of view it has been a productive day. We have been doing all we can to find a positive way forward, looking at lot for the next rally in Finland.


There are definitely areas we have found to improve; the potential is there. We need more development on the car, for sure, but it’s been encouraging. There’s only one day remaining and nothing really to push for in terms of our position but the rally itself is still quite interesting – the conditions are constantly changing, and we need to stay focused.”
 





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


•    Belgian crew moved up to fourth place midway through the morning loop

•    A mature and measured performance has seen them maintain a good buffer to fifth
 


Neuville said:
“We have faced another day of tricky and changing conditions. Somehow, on the rhythm we have been driving, we have been having fun with no real pressure. We moved up to fourth place after Esapekka’s puncture this morning, and from there we could only continue in the same way without taking any risks.


You need to keep concentrated and basically have a clean, smooth drive through the stages. We used the opportunity to test a few different things on the car, but overall, it’s been about making it through safely. We have seen that we struggle in certain situations, which we need to work on, but it’s all good preparation for Rally Finland where we hope to make a step forward.”

 

 

 


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



•    Crew returned strongly after their power steering damage on Friday

•    Three top-four stage times to end the afternoon loop showed promise
 


Solberg said:
“Things have been getting better today. We have been able to push and set some fast split times. I am getting increasingly confident in the car. I just need more mileage. I have never done this type of road in the WRC, nor in this car.


I was a bit annoyed yesterday, but I realised I just need to drive and get used to it. We had a huge moment in SS16 after bottoming out in a rut, sideways over a jump – this is proper rallying! I was happy to set some top-four times this afternoon, improving our pace despite not pushing too hard. We will keep working and making progress.”
 



Deputy Team Director Julien Moncet said
: “A relatively uneventful and somewhat disappointing day, on which we have shown good reliability but never really had the pace to match the crew in front despite numerous set-up changes. We will review with the engineers what can be still improved for tomorrow.


Both Ott and Thierry will focus on holding their respective third and fourth positions, as well as targeting a good result in the Power Stage for extra points. Oliver gained some confidence with the car today and has shown some promising times. He will aim to get even closer to the drivers in front during the final six stages of this rally.”
 




Sunday at a glance





•    The final day of Rally Estonia will cover six special stages over a competitive distance of 78.02km


•    A repeated loop of Tartu Vald (6.56km), Kanepi (16.48km) and Kambja (15.95km) will await the crews with no opportunity for service


•    The second run of Kambja will act as the Power Stage with extra championship points available for the five fastest crews.
 




Classification after Day Two

 
1    K. Rovanperä    J. Halttunen    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    2:06:12.4
2    E. Evans    S. Martin    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +29.5
3    O. Tänak     M. Järveoja    Hyundai i20 N Rally1    +1:11.9
4    T. Neuville     M. Wydaeghe    Hyundai i20 N Rally1    +2:20.2
5    T. Katsuta    A. Johnston    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +3:41.3
6    A. Fourmaux    A. Coria    Ford Puma Rally1    +3:54.7
7    E. Lappi    J. Ferm    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +4:34.5
8    P. Loubet    V. Landais    Ford Puma Rally1    +6:11.8
9    G. Greensmith    J. Andersson    Ford Puma Rally1    +7:19.7

 

 

 
Thomas Villette    ,Nicoletta Russo - photos Hyundai

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/hyundai-motorsport-finish-rally-estonia-third-fourth---240222.html

16.07.2022 / MaP

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