Hyundai Motorsport has taken its second victory of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with an assertive 1-2 result in Rally Estonia, the fourth round of a revised calendar.
A masterful performance by Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja in their home event saw the Estonians claim their maiden win as a Hyundai Motorsport crew, finishing 22.2-seconds ahead of team-mates Craig Breen and Paul Nagle. The result marked Tänak’s third consecutive podium result of the season, having finished second in Sweden and Mexico.
Second place equalled Breen’s best-ever finish in WRC and his debut podium in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on his fourth championship outing for the team. The combined result represents Hyundai Motorsport’s 16th win in WRC and its fourth-ever 1-2 result.
It was a weekend to forget for Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, who – despite re-joining on Saturday – were unable to push for Power Stage points due to a mechanical issue, which ultimately forced them to retire from the event.
Rally Estonia’s intense and challenging itinerary saw 17 stages run primarily across two days, culminating with Sunday’s repeated loop of Arula (6.97km), Kaagvere (15.46km) and Kambja (20.05km). With all three Hyundai Motorsport crews registering stage wins on Saturday (three for Tänak, two for Breen and one for Neuville), it was a more cautious and measured final morning.
Tough and often unpredictable conditions on the high-speed and rutted stages caught out several crews, demanding focus and concentration right up to the Kambja Power Stage, the second longest test of the entire rally. There were extra points for Tänak and Breen for finishing third and fifth respectively in that stage.
Today’s result sees Tänak move up to third place in the drivers’ classification on 66 points, with just a 13-point gap to the leader. Hyundai Motorsport also sees an uplift in its championship aspirations, holding second place with a five-point gap to the top.
The return of WRC following an enforced six-month hiatus due to the ongoing global pandemic has been an important for the championship. Hyundai Motorsport extends its thanks to the WRC promoter, to all those involved in Rally Estonia and to the loyal fans around the world for their support from home.
•The 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) continues its revised schedule in two weeks’ time with the gruelling gravel roads of Rally Turkey
•The Marmaris-based event takes place from September 18-20 and will be the fifth event of the season.
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