Published on May 21st, 2018 | by Subhash Nair0
Hyundai’s Day 3 Report for Rally de Portugal
Hyundai Motorsport has taken a dominant victory in this weekend’s Rally de Portugal, the sixth round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul winning by a margin of 40 seconds over M-Sport Ford’s Elfyn Evans. In a rally of attrition, with many competitors experiencing issues, Neuville’s level-headed and measured performance earned him an eighth WRC career win and his second of the year so far. It is the ninth in total for Hyundai Motorsport as the team retains the lead of the manufacturers’ championship.
Dani Sordo finished in fifth position having fought valiantly for a third gravel podium of the season. Along with co-driver Carlos del Barrio, the Spaniard was handed a ten-second penalty overnight for an apparent infringement of regulations during Friday evening’s Porto Street Stage. The resultant time loss saw him fall out of the top-three before the first of Sunday’s five stages had even started.
A total of 51.53km was contested on the final day with two runs through the 8.64km Montim stage and legendary 11.18km Fafe test with its impressive jump. A solitary attempt at the slightly longer 11.89km Luilhas route split the repeated stages with most crews adopting a cautious approach.
Andreas Mikkelsen, who had re-joined under Rally 2 on Saturday after technical issues forced him to stop on Friday afternoon, continued to fight to the finish. The Norwegian and compatriot co-driver Anders Jæger picked up valuable points for the team’s championship efforts.
There was no holding back in the Power Stage; Sordo sent a strong message with the third fastest time to pick up three driver points. Neuville added four more for second place to complete a near-perfect weekend for the Belgian crew.
Hyundai Motorsport continues to lead the manufacturers’ table on 175 points but with a slightly reduced advantage over M-Sport Ford (162). Neuville’s result sees him jump to the top of the drivers’ table on 119 points ahead of Sébastien Ogier, who did not score this weekend, on 100.