Rally Finland preview
- The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) returns from its summer break with one of the fastest and toughest events of the year – Rally Finland, round nine of the 2019 season
- Hyundai Motorsport currently leads the manufacturers’ championship by 44 points, with Thierry Neuville only seven points away from the lead of the drivers’ standings
- A new crew line-up for Finland sees Craig Breen/Paul Nagle join Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Amland in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars.
26 July 2019 - Hyundai Motorsport returns from the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) summer break determined to defend its lead in the manufacturers' standings.
As the 2019 season heads to Rally Finland, round nine of the 14-event calendar, the team enjoyed a competitive result at Rally Italia Sardegna last month, taking victory and third place to extend its advantage in the classification. The aim is to pick up where it left off at one of the most exciting but demanding events of the year.
Rally Finland, the fifth consecutive gravel event, is notorious for being the fastest on the calendar. Even the smallest of mistakes can be costly with fractions of seconds, making a big difference on the timesheets. Crews will have to trust in their pace notes and fully commit; the Rally Finland challenge includes blind crests and jumps moving immediately into fast corners, and wide-open roads giving way to narrower and technical sections.
Hyundai Motorsport will field a revised three-crew line-up for Finland with Irishmen Craig Breen and Paul Nagle stepping into the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC alongside Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Amland.
All three crews have had the opportunity to test on Finnish roads ahead of the rally in order to prepare as diligently as possible. Mikkelsen and Breen also participated in the Rally Estonia WRC promotional event earlier this month on fast and flowing roads similar to those which will be faced in Finland.
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Belgian crew maintaining pressure in the drivers’ championship, seven points from lead
- Crew aiming to make headway with a strong Finnish weekend
Crew Notes: Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger-Amland (#89 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Podium at Rally Italia Sardegna showed Norwegians’ competitive edge
- A strong second place in Estonia acted as perfect preparation for Finland
Crew Notes: Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (#42 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
- Irish crew set for their debut with Hyundai Motorsport
- Breen took his maiden WRC podium at the 2016 edition of Rally Finland
Weekend at a glance
- 23 stages run over a competitive distance of 307.58km
- Action begins with 2.31km sprint Harju 1 in central Jyväskylä
- Friday covers ten stages totalling a distance of 126.55km in the west
- Saturday is the longest distance of the rally, with eight stages spanning 132.98km
- On Sunday crews will move east for two classic stages: Laukaa and the big jumps of Ruuhimäki are each repeated once.