Published on February 13th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Hyundai Ready For Rally Of Sweden
Round two of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) will see Thierry Neuville in the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team with Hayden Paddon who will replace injured Dani Sordi in the #8 car for his first WRC event of 2015. Kevin Abbring will make his debut for the Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team as he lines up in the #20 car in place of Paddon.
Fresh from a two-car finish in the top six at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January, Hyundai Motorsport heads to Rally Sweden with renewed optimism as it fields three cars for the first time this season.
The team has been forced to make a last minute change to its driver line-up for Rally Sweden after Dani Sordo sustained injuries in a training accident on his mountain bike. The Spaniard will miss the event in order to rest and recover in time for Rally Mexico next month.
Belgians Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (#7 Hyundai i20 WRC) registered a top five finish in Monte-Carlo to get their second season with Hyundai Shell World Rally Team off to a flying start. The duo will be joined by Hayden Paddon and John Kennard, who will now take control of the #8 car instead of the #20. Sweden will be the first of 12 WRC events for the Kiwi crew in 2015 as they look to pick up from where they left off at the end of their maiden season with Hyundai Motorsport.
This second round of the season will also see the team field a third car with Dutchman Kevin Abbring making his competitive debut in Hyundai Motorsport colours. Alongside his British co-driver Sebastian Marshall, Abbring will take charge of the #20 Hyundai i20 WRC in Sweden, and compete under the recently announced Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team banner.
Rally Sweden is the only true winter round of the WRC season with frozen, snowy conditions offering unique challenges for teams and drivers alike. The team carried out a four day test in Sweden in mid-December in order to prepare the developed Hyundai i20 WRC for the team’s second participation in the event. Two additional days were carried out in the region this week with Neuville and Paddon sharing driving duties for half day each and with Abbring testing for one full day.
Neuville has a best finish of fifth in Sweden, although his final classification in last year’s event masked some impressive performances. The Belgian twice secured the runner-up position in stages which is something he is keen to build on in this year’s event.
Rally Sweden takes in 21 competitive stages over a distance of 308km. The rally will get underway with Thursday night’s traditional super special in Karlstad. Friday’s itinerary will take in stages in Norway, with crews not visiting the Service Park for midday service, as well as cross-border action on roads not used since 2011. The frozen forests around the Hagfors service part will make up Saturday and include the famous Colin’s Crest in Vargåsen – which was won by Hyundai Motorsport in 2014.