In addition to three WRC crews, Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program (HMDP) driver Jari Huttunen returns for his fourth round of 2018, his home rally, in a Hyundai i20 R5
Hyundai Motorsport extended its lead in both drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships after a tantalising victory in Sardinia last month
23 July 2018 – Fresh from the mid-season break, Hyundai Motorsport heads to Rally Finland for round 8 of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with an extended lead in both championships following back-to-back wins in Portugal and Sardinia.
After an exciting victory in Sardinia – equalling the third closest finish in WRC history – the team has increased its advantage over M-Sport in the manufacturers’ championship to 28 points, with Thierry Neuville enjoying a 27-point gap at the top of the drivers’ standings.
Rally Finland is renowned for being the fastest event on the calendar, boasting the accolade of hosting 11 of the 12 fastest WRC rallies in history. The 23-stage rally flows past the scenic forests and lakes of central Finland as crews tackle high speeds and numerous jumps in the final of four consecutive gravel events.
For 2018, much of the route has been revamped with more than half of the stages differing from last year’s event, and two stages being run in reverse. The event is one of the toughest for co-drivers, who need to ensure their pace notes are concise, precise, and delivered to perfection.
Hyundai Motorsport will be targeting its maiden podium in Jyväskylä with its crews of Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger, Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul and Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall competing in the #4, #5 and #6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars respectively.
The team carried out a development test on the roads of Estonia in late June, while Paddon also took part in Rally Estonia last weekend. Although focus was on development, the event will undoubtedly have served as a useful warm-up for the next WRC round. Hyundai Motorsport will conduct a rally-specific test in Finland this coming weekend.