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WRC – Hyundai Motorsport keeps hold of a provisional podium in Rally Turkey

Hyundai Motorsport continues to hold a provisional podium position in Rally Turkey, the tenth round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with Hayden Paddon moving into third place overall on a brutal day for the team on the Marmaris coast.

Rally Turkey has lived up to expectations as being a dramatic and unpredictable rally as crews negotiate the tough gravel stages for the first time. Saturday’s itinerary has included a repeat loop of three stages – Yesilbelde (34.24km), Datça (10.7km) and Içmeler (20.37km) – over a total distance of 130.62km.

Overnight rally leaders Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul were forced to retire on Saturday’s opening stage (Yesilbelde), after suffering irreparable suspension damage in the harsh conditions.

Norwegians Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger picked up a third stage win of the weekend in SS9 (Datça), and moved into the lead of the rally by lunchtime service with a 36.3-second advantage. Disaster then struck as the pair endured driveshaft trouble at the start of the afternoon loop (SS11 – Yesilbelde), dropping them down the order. They tried to make repairs on the road section, which made them late for check-in at the subsequent stage. Despite the painful setback, they battled to the end of the day with rear wheel drive only, and retain fifth position.

With dramas up and down the classification, Paddon and co-driver Seb Marshall kept their cool in the Turkish heat to move into the podium positions with a two-minute advantage over fourth place.

Crew Notes: Paddon/ Marshall (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

  • Steady Saturday for Kiwi, gaining three positions to third overall
  • Chasing first podium finish of 2018 season

Paddon said: “It has been complete mayhem out there today. We have stuck to our plan, and it seems to have paid off. It didn’t quite work out yesterday but this has, at times, felt like a different rally compared to Friday. It’s been much more loose and particularly tough on the tyres. In the afternoon loop, we had to take it a bit steady towards the end because our tyres were practically bald. I have learned my lessons from previous rallies, where we’ve gone out too fast too early and ended up by the side of the road. It can be frustrating when you look at the stage times, but it seems to be a good tactic. I’m happy to be in P3, although sad for my team-mates who were forced to relinquish their respective leads of this rally.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

  • Scored third stage win of weekend in SS9 and moved back into rally lead
  • Driveshaft trouble in SS11 and late check-in to SS12 dropped crew to fifth

Mikkelsen said: “It goes without saying that we are incredibly disappointed. We had built up a comfortable lead heading into lunchtime service and really felt in full control. At the start of SS11, we knew almost immediately that we had a driveshaft issue on the front-right. Going into rear-wheel drive, we knew that it would be impossible to fight for the lead anymore. We got to the end of the stage and did all we could to fix the issue. It was important to just keep going, which we managed. Making it to service means we retain fifth place overall and can fight tomorrow for important points for the team. That said, I really think we could have won this one.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

  • Broken suspension on Saturday’s first stage forced retirement from rally lead
  • Belgian will re-join on Sunday under Rally 2 regulations, aiming for Power Stage points

Neuville said: “I am devastated that we had to retire from the rally today. We started the day in the lead and in positive spirits, but just 8 kilometres before the end of the opening stage I felt like I had a puncture. The car became slow to turn. Suddenly the bonnet started to move and the damper popped out, which is when we knew we were in big trouble. We finished the stage and tried to fix the car but there was no chance to continue. I am really disappointed but it’s part of the game, and part of rallying, especially in rough conditions like we’ve faced this weekend. All we can do is fight back on Sunday with the target of maximum points in the Power Stage.”

Turkey bites back

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “We have definitely had the wind taken out of our sails today. From the very first stage with Thierry and Nicolas suffering suspension damage, through to the driveshaft issues for Andreas and Anders this afternoon, things haven’t gone our way. To have two crews retire from the lead because of technical issues is more than what a human being can digest in one day. We take consolation from seeing Hayden and Seb in third place and will regroup this evening to tackle the final day with full motivation. With four more stages to run on Sunday, including the Power Stage, who knows what could happen.” 

Sunday at a glance

  • All still to play for in Rally Turkey with four stages remaining on Sunday
  • Three stages will be run – the 7.14km Marmaris, 8.05km Ovacik and 12.65km Gökçe tests
  • The Marmaris stage will be repeated as the Power Stage to bring this unpredictable rally of attrition to a thrilling conclusion.

Classification after Day Two

1 O. Tänak M. Järveoja Toyota Yaris WRC 3:34:22.5
2 J.M Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +13.1
3 H. Paddon S. Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:10.5
4 T. Suninen M. Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC +3:22.2
5 A. Mikkelsen A. Jæger Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +6:25.4

Press release Hyundai Motorsport


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