Hyundai Motorsport preview: round 1–Rallye Monte-Carlo
- Hyundai Motorsport ready for its sixth season in WRC with three crews and a new-look Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
- Team aims to get championship off to a strong start at one of the most unpredictable, yet iconic events of the year
- Monte-Carlo has never been a strong event for Hyundai Motorsport with just one podium result to its name – third place for Thierry Neuville in 2016.
18 January 2019 - Hyundai Motorsport will be aiming to get its sixth season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) off to a positive start when the championship gets underway at Rallye Monte-Carlo next week.
One of the most iconic and demanding events on the calendar, this year’s Monte will feature a fresh route with up to 40% of the stages remodeled compared to 2018. Yet, the unique challenges of the rally will remain with late evening stages, unpredictable icy and snowy conditions and complex tyre strategies all combining to offer a punishing start to the new season.
Hyundai Motorsport’s crews are well versed in the demands of the classic rally. Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul took the team’s only Monte-Carlo podium in 2016 finishing third, just one place behind Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger-Amland whose second place represents the Norwegians’ best result at the event to date. Hyundai Motorsport’s latest crew needs no introduction to the rigours of Rallye Monte-Carlo: Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena will begin a new chapter in their illustrious WRC career at an event they have won seven times previously.
All three crews will have had the opportunity to test the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC ahead of Monte, albeit with differing preparation time. Neuville and Mikkelsen got behind the wheel ahead of the WRC season launch in Birmingham at the beginning of January and this weekend, while Loeb will have a test on Sunday prior to recce. The team has sought to offset the reduced pre-event test time by conducting a thorough seat fitting for the nine-time world champion during a recent visit to its Alzenau factory.
The event begins on Thursday evening with a ceremonial start in Gap acting as a prelude to two night stages, each just over 20km in length. It will be a baptism of fire for all crews as battle commences for an all-new season.
Friday’s itinerary covers 125km of special stages on new routes, before the final two days return to more familiar settings. If crews can successfully negotiate the opening three days, the legendary Col de Turini awaits on the final morning. Huge crowds will gather at the summit to watch the WRC cars as the rally builds to its crescendo with a final Power Stage against the mountainous pass of Col de Braus.
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- 2018 championship runners-up have their sights set on a competitive Monte-Carlo
- Previous best result at the event was a third-place finish in 2016
Crew Notes: Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Amland (#89 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Mikkelsen took third place in 2015 and second, with Jæger-Amland, in 2016
- Norwegian crew is targeting an improved season after a character-building 2018
Crew Notes: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (#19 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Nine-time champions join Hyundai Motorsport for a six-rally program in 2019
- Monte-Carlo winners on seven occasions between 2003 and 2013
Rallye Monte-Carlo begins on Thursday, January 24 with a shakedown at Gap, run over a 3.35km route, before the ceremonial start in the centre. Two evening stages will follow, run in darkness with additional light pods affixed to the cars, the 20.76km La Breole-Selonnet and 20.59km Avançon-Notre Dame du Laus tests. It’s game on for the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship!
You can find the Hyundai Motorsport Crews' Info at the end of the PDF file:Hyundai Motorsport Crews' Info