Neuville/Gilsoul secure victory in Rallye Monte Carlo
- Hyundai Motorsport has begun its manufacturers’ championship title defence in style by securing an impressive victory in Rallye Monte-Carlo
- Thierry Neuville put in a premium performance on the final day to move into the lead by SS14, and then extend his advantage to claim the team’s 15th WRC win
- Sébastien Loeb picked up sixth place to salvage ten important manufacturer points from a difficult weekend.
26 January 2020 - Hyundai Motorsport has registered its first win of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship as Thierry Neuville stormed to victory with a dominant performance on the final day in Rallye Monte-Carlo.
The Belgian, alongside co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, claimed a clean sweep on Sunday morning with four stage wins and the maximum five Power Stage points to take the team’s 15th WRC win and its first-ever in the Principality. The crew scored a total of nine stage wins from a possible 16 over the four-day event.
Sunday morning’s itinerary covered four stages; a repeat loop of familiar tests that saw crews tackle the iconic Col de Turini in La Bollène-Vésubie-Peïra Cava (SS13/SS15) before the shorter but no less challenging La Cabanette-Col de Braus (SS14/SS16).
Neuville put in an exemplary performance all weekend to get the maximum from his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in some typically challenging Monte conditions. Having cemented a 6.4-second gap to the leaders by the end of Saturday, he cut the deficit on Sunday’s opening stage before moving into the lead and then extending his own advantage to 12.6-seconds with a Power Stage win. The result marked the 13th WRC career win for the #11 crew.
A demanding event came to a frustrating end for Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena as they had to settle for sixth overall. The crew opted for softer tyres to tackle the two loops, which proved to be disadvantageous in the conditions. Adding to their struggles, while battling to defend fourth place, they lost the rear of their car at a tight hairpin in SS14, requiring spectator support to get them back on the road. They lost crucial time and dropped down the order, as they struggled with their tyre choice. Nonetheless, they were able to salvage ten important championship points.
Hyundai Motorsport has taken an early lead in the manufacturers’ classification on 35 points, while Neuville starts the 2020 season atop the drivers’ table with the maximum 30 points on offer.
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Belgians kick-started their 2020 title charge with an impressive victory in Monte-Carlo
- Nine stage wins over the weekend, including five Power Stage points
Crew Notes: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (#9 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Tough weekend for the nine-time world champions
- Crew claimed sixth place and picked up ten manufacturer points
Final Overall Classification – Rallye Monte-Carlo
- 1 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul / Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 3:10:57.6
- 2 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia / Toyota Yaris WRC +12.6
- 3 E. Evans S. Martin / Toyota Yaris WRC +14.3
- 4 E. Lappi J. Ferm / Ford Fiesta WRC +3:09.0
- 5 K. Rovanperä J. Halttunen / Toyota Yaris WRC +4:17.2
- 6 S. Loeb D. Elena / Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +5:04.7
- 7 T. Katsuta D. Barritt / Toyota Yaris WRC +11:27.9
- 8 T. Suninen J. Lehtinen / Ford Fiesta WRC +13:30.4
- 9 E. Camilli F.X Buresi / Citroën C3 R5 +13:42.2
- 10 M. Østberg T. Eriksen / Citroën C3 R5 +14:21.8
2020 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings | After round 1
- 1 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 35
- 2 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 33
- 3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 20
2020 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings | After round 1
- 1 T. Neuville 30
- 2 S. Ogier 22
- 3 E. Evans 17
- 4 E. Lappi 13
- 5 K. Rovanperä 10
- 6 S.Loeb 8
- 7 T. Katsuta 6
- 8 T. Suninen 4
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.