Hyundai Motorsport takes spectacular podium as Neuville claims 2nd in Sweden
The Hyundai Motorsport team will step onto the WRC podium for the fourth time in its short history as Thierry Neuville stormed to second place in the Rally Sweden, round two of the FIA World Rally Championship.
The result sees Hyundai Motorsport consolidate second in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 55 points, while Neuville also took two Power Stage points for finishing second in the final stage of the rally. He resides second in the Driver’s Championship on 30 points.
The team has been in the thick of the action from the outset of the 21-stage rally, with Neuville firmly among the pace setters all weekend. The victory fight went right down the final Power Stage with 4.6 seconds separating the trio of contenders heading into the last 15.87km stage.
Neuville took the first stage win of the season for the team on Friday and was placed second at the end of the opening day. He then added a further two stages wins in Saturday’s SS15 and SS18 to sensationally take the lead as the penultimate day came to an end. In Saturday’s final stage, he also jumped 44m to break the legendary Colin’s Crest Award record. The Belgian adopted a measured approach to Sunday morning’s stages to ensure e kept fully in the hunt for the victory right to the end, and the runner-up position was well deserved.
Neuville said: “What a rally this has been! We have not had such a close battle for the victory for a long time and it has been great to be part of such a thrilling finale. Nobody really expected us to be challenging for the win here, so it has been a brilliant performance. Of course, I pushed hard to get the win, taking quite a few risks, and I could honestly not have done more. A second place is still a very nice result for me and for everyone in the team, who have worked hard.”
For the Hyundai Motorsport team, Rally Sweden has been an excellent event with competitive performances from all three cars. The progress made by the team compared to the same event one year ago is a testament to the hard work put in by the entire team, both at the rally and back at the team’s Alzenau factory. Today’s second place marks the fourth WRC event with a podium (Mexico, Poland and Germany 2014) and the first event of the season with a three-car finish. The team can also reflect on three stage wins this weekend, as well as leading the rally, all of which makes for an event to remember!