Rally de Portugal Preview
- Hyundai Motorsport heads to Rally de Portugal, the seventh round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), aiming to defend its lead in the manufacturers’ standings.
- The team will field a three-crew line-up consisting of Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul, Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio and Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena.
- Hyundai Motorsport secured victory in Portugal in 2018 and will be aiming to bounce back from a difficult weekend in Chile.
24 May 2019 - Hyundai Motorsport will look to consolidate its position at the top of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) manufacturers’ standings at Rally de Portugal next week.
The seventh round of the 2019 season continues with WRC’s run of consecutive gravel events, following the recent South American double-header. Having scored a 1-2 result in Argentina and a third-place podium finish in Chile, Hyundai Motorsport holds a 29-point advantage at the top of the manufacturers’ table as the season approaches its midway mark.
Rally de Portugal offers the team an opportunity to reassert its credentials, after a tricky Chile round in which Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul were involved in a heavy crash. The Belgians were forced to retire from the event but will resume their championship campaign in Portugal.
Joining them as part of the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team line-up at the Matosinhos based event, Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio and Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena will be in the #6 and #19 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars respectively.
All three crews are ready for action, having tested the car on gravel in Europe ahead of the rally. Being a fast, technical and complicated event, Rally de Portugal will introduce a new-look for this year, revisiting stages in the Arganil region for the first time since 2001. In addition to the fresh challenges, there will also be firm favourites, including the spectacular Fafe stage and its iconic jump.
Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Currently third in the drivers’ championship, 12 points behind Ott Tänak
- Winner at Rally de Portugal in 2018 and second in 2017
Crew Notes: Sordo/Del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Spaniards return to action at event close to home
- Sordo finished third in Portugal in 2017
Crew Notes: Loeb/Elena (#19 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Third place in Chile represented crew’s first podium for Hyundai Motorsport
- Sixth place in the drivers’ championship
About the rally
- Rally de Portugal gets underway with a ceremonial start on Thursday evening at Coimbra.
- Friday’s itinerary consists of three stages in the Arganil region, each run twice, followed by a super special at the Lousada rallycross circuit.
- Saturday covers over half of the competitive stage distance for the entire rally: Vieira do Minho (20.53km), Cabeceiras de Basto (22.22km) and Amarante (37.60 km) will all be run twice.
- Sunday is all about the famous Fafe with two runs through the short but spectacular stage in addition to a solitary run through Luilhas (11.89km) and two attempts at Montim (8.64km).