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Hyundai Clinches Victory at FIA World Rally Championship

Hyundai Motorsport has taken its third victory of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a superb double podium finish in Rally de España.

Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe enjoyed a near-perfect weekend in the all-tarmac rally to confirm their second win of the season, with team-mates Dani Sordo and Cándido Carrera in third – their first podium as a crew and Sordo’s second of the year.

The 1-3 result marks a repeat of the team’s result in the last iteration of Rally de España that took place on mixed surface roads back in 2019. Hyundai Motorsport has asserted its authority on this year’s event, taking a total of 14 stage wins out of a possible 17 across three days of action, ten for Neuville and four for Sordo.

The Spanish crew were on dominant form during the final morning of the rally, winning all four stages – two runs through Santa Marina (SS14/SS16, 9.10km) and Riudecanyes (SS15/SS17, 16.35km).  The duo had been involved in an exhilarating third-place battle with Sébastien Ogier for much of the rally and got the upper hand when it counted, leapfrogging the Frenchman on Sunday’s opening stage.

Neuville and Wydaeghe backed them up strongly with a Hyundai 1-2 on the first loop. It wasn’t an entirely trouble-free finale for the Belgian crew as an engine starter motor issue prior to the Power Stage created some nervous moments, as well as the onset of wet weather conditions. Thankfully, they were able to make the start and complete their triumphant weekend with the second-fastest time in the repeat of Riudecanyes – right behind their Spanish teammates who took maximum Power Stage points.

Victory in Spain heralds Neuville’s 15th win as a Hyundai Motorsport driver and the team’s 20th in total in WRC. For Sordo, his 14th podium for the team represents his 50th career podium and extends his scintillating form on home soil.

Adding two more podium results to its 2021 tally means that the Alzenau-based team has 16 individual top-three finishes, its highest ever in a single season. The team also broke through the 100-stage win barrier on Saturday, representing another statistical milestone. Picking up a bumper haul of points from the weekend means that the manufacturers’ championship title will roll onto the season finale, Rally Monza, next month.

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