Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Round 1 – Rallye Monte-Carlo
- Hyundai Motorsport is aiming for a strong start to its seventh season in the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at Rallye Monte-Carlo next week (January 23-26)
- Team will field three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars (Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul, Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja and Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena) for the first round of the year
- Hyundai Motorsport has set out to defend its manufacturers’ title as well as take top honours in the drivers’ standings.
20 January 2020 - Hyundai Motorsport will be aiming to start its seventh season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) on the front foot with a strong result at Rallye Monte-Carlo next week (January 23-26).
As reigning manufacturers’ champions and with the current drivers’ champion part of its versatile crew line-up, the team is confident it has the strongest possible package to secure both WRC titles in 2020.
Rallye Monte-Carlo offers a demanding challenge for crews in the opening round of the season. As the stages begin to vary in altitude, changeable weather conditions and a mix of snow, ice and tarmac are brought into play; tyre choice and concentration levels are critical to success.
All three Hyundai Motorsport crews are well versed in the complexities and tribulations of Rallye Monte-Carlo. In 2019, Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul scored the team’s best result in Monte-Carlo to date, finishing just 2.2-seconds from the rally winner.
Newcomers to the team Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja have three consecutive podiums in the Principality, while seven-time Monte winners Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were in contention for third with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in 2019. All three crews tested in the Sisteron region in December, followed by an additional day’s testing in mid-January to prepare for the task ahead.
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- 2019 championship runners-up have their sights set on a competitive Monte-Carlo
- Second place finish in 2019, just 2.2-seconds behind rally winner
Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (#8 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Newest additions to Hyundai Motorsport ready to tackle first event
- Estonians have a run of three consecutive podium finishes in Rallye Monte-Carlo
Crew Notes: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (#9 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Nine-time champions return for second season with the team
- Franco-Monegasque crew was in strong contention for a Monaco podium in 2019
WRC 2 overview
The Monte-Carlo weekend will also feature the first run in anger in the i20 R5 ’20 for Hyundai Motorsport’s WRC 2 crews, run by RedGrey Team. Norwegian-Swedish crew Ole Christian Veiby/Jonas Andersson and Russians Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov are proven entities in the WRC 2 category and are tasked with powering the i20 R5 to new highs.
Weekend at a Glance
- Rallye Monte-Carlo begins on Thursday with an opening ceremony in Monaco before crews tackle two night-time stages, Malijai-Puimichel (17.47km) and Bayons-Bréziers (25.49km).
- Friday’s itinerary is the longest of the weekend, with two loops of three stages totalling over 120km - Curbans-Venterol (20.02km), Saint-Clément-Freissinières (20.68km) and Avançon-Notre-Dame-du-Laus (20.59km).
- Saturday’s action moves to the north- and south-east of the Service Park with two stages, St Léger-les-Mélèzes-La Bâtie-Neuve (16.87km) and La Bréole–Selonnet (20.73km) run twice each.
- After an evening service in Gap, crews move back to Monaco for the final four stages on Sunday: two runs of La Bollene-Vésubie-Peira Cava (18.41km) and La Cabanette-Col de Braus (13.36km), the latter acting as the event’s Power Stage.
Fans can watch every second of Hyundai’s progress at Rallye Monte-Carlo on WRC+, as well as follow live updates and standings on wrc.com.