Published on September 27th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Hyundai Shell World Rally Team Achieves Objective
On their first race in the Rally Australia, the Hyundai rally team worked well to get all cars to the finish and they had a positive and trouble-free race day. Hayden Paddon (#20 Hyundai i20 WRC, co-driver John Kennard) was the top finishing Hyundai i20 WRC driver, securing a strong 6th position. Thierry Neuville (#7 Hyundai i20 WRC, co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul) ended the rally in 7th with local hero Chris Atkinson (#8 Hyundai i20 WRC, co-driver Stéphane Prévot) rounding out the top 10 spots.
Paddon was involved in a captivating battle for 6th place. The #20 crew took the position on the penultimate stage (Bucca II 10.83km) following problems for Mads Ostberg but the gap between the two drivers had been a matter of seconds throughout the entire rally. For the Kiwi crew, the 6th place represents a more positive progress in the WRC and their best result to date.Neuville continued to push hard to finish the rally in 7th position with some competitive stage times on Sunday, including 3rd quickest in SS19. It was a measured performance from the Belgian crew following the time lost on Friday with a damaged suspension.
Australian Chris Atkinson concluded his home rally, and just his second WRC event of the season with the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team, in 10th place after a tough rally. His early struggles to find a good rhythm led to an early position on the road, which had further impeded his progress.
Nonetheless, his drive had helped the team to learn more about the performance of the i20 WRC on the Australian gravel surface, which will be hugely important for next season.
The weekend’s rally has been the team’s first outing on the unique Australian terrain, so the focus had been on gathering valuable experience in preparation for next season. There has still been plenty of action along the way with the final 6 stages offering plenty of excitement for the Australian fans and a lot of positives to take away for the young Hyundai Shell World Rally Team.