Rally de España Preview: 2019 WRC Penultimate Round | Hyundai N
- Hyundai Motorsport prepares for the mixed surface challenge of Rally de España, the penultimate event of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
- The team heads to Spain leading the manufacturers’ title chase by eight points following its 11th podium of the year at Wales Rally GB
- Thierry Neuville will be joined by Dani Sordo and Sébastien Loeb in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC as the trio aim to extend the team’s championship lead.
18 October 2019 - Hyundai Motorsport is aiming to extend its lead in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) as the season moves onto the penultimate round, Rally de España, next weekend.
The manufacturers’ title chase has heated up in recent events, as the 2019 season approaches its thrilling conclusion. Second place at Wales Rally GB represented Hyundai Motorsport’s 11th podium of the season and allowed the team to retain an eight-point advantage over its nearest rivals with two rounds of the championship remaining.
Three Hyundai crews will contest the 17-stage mixed surface rally, which begins with predominantly gravel roads on Friday before turning into a pure tarmac event on the final two days. Teams will have a unique 75-minute flexi service at the end of Friday’s six stages to transform the set-up of the cars to cope with the change of terrain.
Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul will be joined by Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio and Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars for the 13th round of the season. All crews tested in the Tarragona region last week. Loeb and Sordo completed half a day apiece on gravel with all three crews completing a full day each on tarmac in preparation for the rally.
Hyundai Motorsport has taken three podium results from Spain in previous seasons. Two of those podium results were taken by Sordo, once in 2016, and again as part of a double top-three alongside Neuville in 2017. Loeb, meanwhile, will begin this year’s rally, his first WRC event since Portugal in June, as the defending Rally de España winner.
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Third in the drivers’ championship, 41 points adrift of the lead
- Six podiums scored in 2019 so far, including two victories
Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Spaniards return for first WRC event since Turkey
- Home heroes looking to emulate rally winning performance from Sardinia
Crew Notes: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (#19 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Nine-time world champions taking part in the first WRC event since Portugal
- Returning to Spain as reigning winners of Rally de España
Weekend at a glance
- 17 stages run over a competitive distance of 325.56km
- A ceremonial start takes place in Salou on Thursday before stages get underway on Friday
- Six stages run across two loops – the all-gravel Gandesa (7km) and Horta-Bot (19km), as well as the mixed gravel-tarmac timed test of La Fatarella-Vilalba (38.85km).
- A 75-minute service on Friday evening sees mechanics transform the car spec from gravel to tarmac ahead of Saturday’s seven stages: a repeat loop of Savalla (14.08km), Querol (21.26km) and El Montmell (24.40km), as well as a shorter 2.24km run at Salou.
- Sunday takes in four stages with Riudecanyes (16.35km) and La Mussara (20.72km) run twice, the latter as the Power Stage.
Hyundai Motorsport Crews' Info