Slender lead for Hyundai Motorsport after Rally Finland day 1

Slender lead for Hyundai Motorsport after Rally Finland day 1

05.08.2022: • Hyundai Motorsport holds a 3.8-second lead in Rally Finland after a strong start for Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja on the notoriously fast gravel roads • The Estonians claimed three stage wins during Friday, while Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydae



•    Hyundai Motorsport holds a 3.8-second lead in Rally Finland after a strong start for Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja on the notoriously fast gravel roads


•    The Estonians claimed three stage wins during Friday, while Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe – running second on the road – ended the day in seventh spot


•    For Oliver Solberg and Elliott Edmondson, the rally ended before it had really started after a roll in the opening stage (SS2) which put them out of the event.
 



Hyundai Motorsport has taken a slender provisional lead of Rally Finland, round eight of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja holding a 3.8-second advantage at the top of the timesheets.
 


Following Thursday evening’s opening Harju test, which saw a Hyundai Motorsport 1-2 with Thierry Neuville and Tänak leading the way, Friday represented the first full day of action with fast and furious Finnish gravel roads ready to welcome the Rally1 crews.
 


The itinerary was set to cover nine special stages: a combination of Laukaa (SS2/SS4, 11.75km) and Lankamaa (SS3/SS5, 21.69km), a shorter Harju test (SS6, 2.01km), followed by a double run through Ässämäki (SS7/SS9, 12.31km) and Sahloinen-Moksi (SS8/SS10, 15.70km) in the afternoon and into the evening.
 


Trouble struck Hyundai Motorsport pair Oliver Solberg and Elliott Edmondson on the day’s opening test, as the crew rolled their Hyundai i20 N Rally1 after running wide and hitting a rock. The crew were uninjured, but upon inspection back at the Service Park, the damage sustained to the roll-cage of their car was deemed too substantial to continue the rally.
 


Tänak set impressive pace to pick up two stage wins in the morning before the repeat of Lankamaa was stopped on safety grounds. After mid-afternoon flexi service, the Estonians added a third fastest time but saw their lead gradually reduced into the evening.
 


Neuville and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe, meanwhile, struggled initially to find confidence from a challenging second position on the road. The Belgians made encouraging improvements to complete Friday’s 103.22km of stages in seventh place.
 


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



•    Three stage wins for the Estonians on Friday helped build an 8.3-second lead

•    Afternoon/evening loop saw their advantage cut to 3.8 seconds
 


Tänak said:
“Today has definitely been a lot better than we expected it to be. We were certainly not planning on being in this position, managing things at the front, and in the fight. I was on the limit already by the first corner of the first stage, so it seems perhaps the others were a bit slow to wake up.



Slowly, slowly we have seen them catching. Let’s see what happens tomorrow, as we’ll also have to keep an eye on the weather which might change a bit.”
 




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



•    Stage win on Thursday evening put the Belgians on the front foot

•    Second on the road made life trickier on Friday as they fought hard for seventh overall



 
Neuville said
: “We had a good start with our stage win on Thursday’s opener, but the serious things began with today’s stages. We knew that being one of the first cars on the road would be hard, but we were also missing something. We went in the right way for the afternoon, which was a good thing. We gained a little bit more confidence and improved on the handling side, which felt a bit more normal.


That’s the positive we take away from today. We are not where we should be; we have to aim for the two positions ahead of us. It won’t be easy but if we have the same feeling and trust with the car then we have to go for it.”
 



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

•    The crew rolled on the opening stage of Friday’s first loop, Laukaa (SS2)

•    Damaged roll-cage forced their retirement from the event
 


Solberg said:
“Unfortunately our Rally Finland was over before it ever really began. Early in SS2, the rear snapped, I went wide and hit a rock, which rolled the car over. Some damage to the roll cage meant that we could not return for the rest of the weekend.


 It’s difficult to take, and I am just devastated for the whole team who have worked so hard. It’s a pretty tough time right now, but we have to try and keep our heads up. We must look onwards and upwards, as we move forward to Ypres Rally in a couple of weeks. We will come back stronger.”
 




Deputy Team Director Julien Moncet said:
“It has been quite an eventful day. On the positive side, we have all been amazed at Ott’s pace. We know he is still struggling with the car in general, but he has had a brilliant day, pushing to the maximum. He has extracted everything humanly possible from the car. The gap is now just 3.8 seconds so it will be game on for tomorrow and Sunday, with the threat of some rain tomorrow as well.


Thierry has managed to get some confidence back and will look to make more improvements. Unfortunately, on the negative side, Oliver had to retire in SS2 after his car was damaged following a roll. He will now focus on the preparation of Ypres Rally.”
 




Saturday at a glance




•    Eight stages will be run on Saturday, a repeated loop of Päijälä (SS11/SS15, 20.19km), Rapsula (SS12/SS16, 20,56km), Patajoki (SS13/SS17, 13.75km) and Vekkula (SS14/SS18, 20.65km)


•    Total stage distance of 150.30km makes it the longest individual day of the event on some classic rollercoaster roads – almost half of the rally’s entire distance


•    A lunchtime service will split the two loops.
 




Classification after Day One

 
1    O. Tänak     M. Järveoja    Hyundai i20 N Rally1    50:41.2
2    E. Lappi    J. Ferm    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +3.8
3    E. Evans    S. Martin    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +19.3
4    K. Rovanperä    J. Halttunen    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +21.0
5    C. Breen    P. Nagle    Ford Puma Rally1    +32.5
6    T. Katsuta    A. Johnston    Toyota GR Yaris Rally1    +35.5
7    T. Neuville     M. Wydaeghe    Hyundai i20 N Rally1    +50.2
8    P. L. Loubet    V. Landais    Ford Puma Rally1    +1:00.9
9    G. Greensmith    J. Andersson    Ford Puma Rally1    +1:02.6



TH Vilette, photos Hyundai

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/slender-lead-hyundai-motorsport-rally-finland-day1---241019.html

05.08.2022 / MaP

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