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Sat, 11 Nov 2017 - Hyundai Motorsport upbeat and ready to finish 2017 season on a high
Hyundai Motorsport aims to conclude its fourth season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) by fighting for victory in Rally Australia
The team is fielding three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars in the season finale with Thierry Neuville looking to secure second in the Drivers’ Championship
Andreas Mikkelsen and Hayden Paddon also have aspirations of a strong finish as the team prepares to build momentum for the 2018 season.

Alzenau, Germany

November 10, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport heads to the season finale of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally Australia, in positive spirits as the team aims to conclude its fourth year of participation in the sport on a high.

With the 2017 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship titles wrapped up by Sebastien Ogier and M-Sport in Wales Rally GB, Hyundai Motorsport can attack the Australian stages with full focus on the event in hand and with an eye firmly on next season.

A three-car line-up will see Hayden Paddon compete in front of travelling Kiwi and passionate Australian fans, Thierry Neuville aiming to secure second place in the drivers’ table, and Andreas Mikkelsen defending his victory from twelve months ago.

The 13th and final round of the 2017 season will see crews negotiate tough gravel stages in dusty conditions that starkly contrast with the slippery terrain faced in Wales.

Testing is prohibited outside of Europe, so Hyundai Motorsport will be putting a season’s worth of improvement from its Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC into the Australian round of the Championship.

End of chapter four

Having scored three victories in 2017, a total of ten individual podiums, 77 stage wins and 54 Power Stage points, there have been plenty of strong performances for Hyundai Motorsport in its fourth WRC season. Despite missing out on the Manufacturers’ title, the team has had another year of solid progress, which it aims to demonstrate in Australia.

Featuring a revised opening day, which mixes known routes with three new stages in the forest, Rally Australia will be far from a walk in the park. Hyundai Motorsport would like to build on its third place podium finish at the event in 2016 with a multiple charge next weekend, and to position itself in contention for overall victory.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We approach Rally Australia with every hope and intention that we can deliver a strong all-round team performance. We have all the ingredients to be competitive on the Australian gravel and we will give everything we can to achieve that. We have to accept our second place in the Championship behind M-Sport, but at the same time we can reflect on 2017 as being one of progress and improvement for our team. If we can put all the pieces together in Australia, I hope we can not only be in the hunt for victory but also fight for the podium with multiple cars. There are some new stages to tackle this year, in addition to lots of familiar stages. We finished third in 2016 with Thierry and Nicolas, but our sights are set even higher this year. Our rivals will be out to complete the year in the same way, so we need to be at the very top of our game.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Alongside his co-driver Seb Marshall, Paddon will benefit from huge support in Australia, with plenty of fans travelling from New Zealand for the rally. A tough season for the Kiwi has delivered a best finish of second in Poland, a result he’d like to emulate ‘down under’.

Paddon said: “It is always nice to be heading back to our side of the world. It isn’t quite a home event but it is as close as we can get. The support we receive from the fans is unreal and we want to give them a good show – and something to shout about. We are not competing on the public roads as much as previous seasons, with a lot more stages in the forest. That will make the event slightly different but we are confident in our abilities. Finishing the rally in Wales in the top-eight wasn’t necessarily the result we wanted, but it gave us good mileage in the car, which we hope will translate positively to Australia.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul moved back up to second in the Drivers’ Championship with a fine drive to second overall in Wales Rally GB. Taking five stage wins, including the Power Stage, the Belgians need an equally strong result in Australia to secure their runners-up slot ahead of Ott Tanak.

Neuville said: “Australia is an enjoyable rally, an event where I have finished on the podium a couple of times in the past. It will certainly be nice to finish the season with a great atmosphere and some Australian summer sunshine, My aim for this final rally is clear: to secure our second place in the Championship. We know we have the technical package to compete at the front, so with the addition of a bit of luck I am hopeful we can do what we need to do.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger head to the Coffs Harbour based event as defending winners, having impressed in Australia twelve months ago. The Norwegian duo narrowly missed out on a podium in Wales last time out, but will be aiming to rectify that in the season finale, their third rally with Hyundai Motorsport.

Mikkelsen said: “Australia is probably my favourite rally of the season, and I have great experiences from the event previously. Winning in 2016 was a great memory and I hope we can be in the mix again with Hyundai Motorsport. It would be an amazing way to end the season, and to prepare for a full-season campaign in 2018. It is always a challenging event, so nothing can be taken for granted. We do have an advantageous starting position, though, which we hope to make the most of. I am looking forward to it!”

Rally Australia at a glance

The 21-stage Rally Australia event, round 13 of the year, covers a total stage distance of 318.33km.

Based at Coffs Harbour, the rally gets underway on Friday morning with some new stages into the Australian forest. Concluding with two runs through the familiar Destination NSW super special, it acts as a suitably demanding prelude to the longest day of the event.

Covering 140km on Saturday, crews will tackle the monster Nambucca test, which at 48.89km is the third longest stage of the season after El Chocolate in Mexico (54.90km) and Antisanti-Poggio di Nazza in Corsica (53.78km).

The final day of action for the 2017 WRC takes place on Sunday with well-known Australian stages, Bucca and Wedding Bells.

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 - Hyundai Motorsport moves into podium contention in Wales Rally GB
Hyundai Motorsport is firmly in the fight for the podium in Wales Rally GB, the penultimate round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship
Thierry Neuville holds third place at the end of Saturday’s nine stages, just 0.5-seconds from Sébastien Ogier, adding another stage win to his tally in SS13 (Dyfi)
Andreas Mikkelsen has moved up to fifth overall, just ten seconds from second place, with Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo also holding top-ten positions.

Deeside, Great Britain

October 28, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport has mounted a stronger challenge on the middle day of this weekend’s Wales Rally GB, consistently setting top-three stage times and positioning itself as a serious podium contender.

Saturday’s itinerary saw teams tackle the longest day of the weekend, both in terms of total distance – 142.38km – as well as duration. The opening stage commenced at 7.55am local time, while the final test concluded over twelve hours later.

Two runs through Aberhirnant, Dyfnant, Gartheiniog and Dyfi were split up with a short 1.80km test at Cholmondeley Castle in mid-afternoon. Night-time conditions were made even more complicated with the addition of heavy fog in the penultimate stage – Aberhirnant 2.

Belgian duo Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul were quick out of the blocks on Saturday morning, as they sought to overhaul a time deficit from the opening day of action. The pair claimed two more stage wins on Saturday – in SS13 (Dyfi 2) and SS14 (Cholmondeley Castle) – to hold second position overall. However, hitting the worst of the evening fog, they dropped back to third overall just 0.5s behind Sébastien Ogier.

Andreas Mikkelsen claimed five top-three stage times on Saturday as he moved into the top-five overall in just his second WRC event with Hyundai Motorsport. Hayden Paddon scored a top-two stage time in the foggy Aberhirnant run, and holds eighth overall, two places ahead of Dani Sordo in tenth.

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were among the standout performers on Saturday, as they moved up from fourth to second overall. Unfortunately, the Belgian crew were hampered by the evening fog which prevented them from extending their hold on second place. Instead, they lost some ground but remain firmly in the podium hunt, only 0.5-seconds from Ogier.

Neuville said: “Overall, it was a better day than Friday in terms of the driving, more consistent and we were able to make up a good chunk of time, although I am disappointed with the way our day has ended. We probably had the worst of the fog and honestly could not have gone any faster. We tried to push but it was impossible in those conditions. I expected poor conditions in the evening, but nothing like we experienced. I gave it all I had in the final stage but all our hard work was undone by the weather conditions.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen / Jæger (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Mikkelsen and his co-driver Anders Jæger enjoyed a consistent Saturday with a string of top-three times. The Norwegian crew’s progress was hindered by the evening conditions as the positioning of their headlights affected their line of sight.

Mikkelsen said: “On the whole, we have had a good day. The daylight stages were particularly positive. We benefitted from a better starting position today so we wanted to capitalise on that and regain some time. We were able to achieve that and were not far off the lead times. The car set-up was amazing. We knew the evening stages would be tough, with the fog, but we had nothing to lose so I drove as quick as I could. We set our light pods too high in the penultimate stage of the evening, and couldn’t see anything. We tried to modify those but with no fog in the final stage they were too low and visibility was worse. Still, there are a lot of good things to take from today’s running.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Paddon and co-driver Seb Marshall had a mixed day with some positive moments offset by a few issues. A front-left puncture in SS9 (Dyfnant) and hydraulic issues in SS13 (Dyfi) lost them time, but a strong evening performance kept them inside the top-eight in their first WRC event since August.

Paddon said: “There have been some positives and some problems today. On the positive side, the car has felt much better today and I have felt more confident. However, we have also encountered some trouble, which has set us back. We had a puncture at the start of the second stage and then hydraulic issues on the second run through Dyfi – the longest stage of the day. We had no gearbox or differentials for the entire stage, and it was an absolute handful if I’m honest. I was looking forward to the evening stages and felt that we got more out of ourselves. It’s the same conditions for everyone, but I am able to trust Seb implicitly on the pace notes, so we could push that bit more.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#16 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

A tough day for Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí saw them drop to tenth overall. Despite finishing second in the short Cholmondeley Castle stage, it was a day of disappointment for the Spanish crew.

Sordo said: “There is nothing I can say. It has been a difficult day, and it ended with a poor stage where we lost a lot of time. The car has performed well, mostly, but we haven’t been able to make progress. I was struggling with the traction and grip this morning and the suspension was too soft for my preference. This rally is very special and unique, but so far I haven’t been able to dial into it fully. I am definitely hoping to turn things around on the final day.”

Podium in sight

Hyundai Motorsport is determined to return to the podium for the first time since Rally Poland, and to secure a second consecutive top-three finish in Wales Rally GB. Despite a few setbacks on Saturday, the team is hopeful of improving on its current top-five positions.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “This evening’s fog really made life difficult for the crews, but it seems that Thierry in particular got caught out in the conditions. We have to look past this slight frustration because there is nothing we can do about the elements. He had enjoyed a strong day up to that point, moving up to second and establishing himself clearly as best of the rest after the local star Elfyn, who is doing a magnificent job. Andreas, too, has done well today. Looking at his performance, it’s easy to forget it is only his second rally with our team. Sunday’s five stages will offer yet more challenges for all four of our crews, but I think we are in a strong position to fight for the podium, possibly with more than one crew. That’s what I’d love to see by Sunday lunchtime. ”

Sunday’s itinerary

The 10.41km Alwen and 6.43km Brenig stages will both be run twice on Sunday, the latter as the Power Stage.

Sandwiched in between the loops will be the 7.49km Gwydir test, bringing the total distance for the final day to 41.17km.

Overall Classification after Day Two

E. Evans
D. Barritt
Ford Fiesta WRC

S. Ogier
J. Ingrassia
Ford Fiesta WRC

T. Neuville
N. Gilsoul
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

J. M. Latvala
M. Anttila
Toyota Yaris WRC

A. Mikkelsen
A. Jæger
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

O. Tänak
M. Järveoja
Ford Fiesta WRC

K. Meeke
P. Nagle
Citroën C3 WRC

H. Paddon
S. Marshall
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

E. Lappi
J. Fern
Toyota Yaris WRC

D. Sordo
M. Martí
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Sat, 28 Oct 2017 - Steady start for Hyundai Motorsport in Wales Rally GB
Stage win for Thierry Neuville shows progress on a cautious opening day in Wales Rally GB, as all Hyundai Motorsport crews feature in the top ten
Neuville holds fourth place after seven special stages, ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen in seventh, Dani Sordo eighth and Hayden Paddon ninth
Fielding four Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars for the first time this season, Hyundai Motorsport is aiming for a competitive finish to the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship.

Deeside, Great Britain

October 27, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport has made a tentative start to the penultimate round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Wales Rally GB, with all four of the team’s cars inside the top ten.

Three-times rally winner this season, Thierry Neuville moved up into fourth place overall after taking a stage win on the day’s final test, Hafren, 37.1s from rally leader and home hero, Elfyn Evans. The Belgian had incurred a ten-second penalty on Thursday evening’s super special stage, Visit Conwy Tir Prince, after the car would not start ahead of the stage, putting him on the back foot from the outset of the rally.

Andreas Mikkelsen, in his second WRC event with Hyundai Motorsport, heads a trio of Hyundai i20 Coupe WRCs in seventh place overall ahead of Dani Sordo in eighth and Hayden Paddon in ninth.

Wales Rally GB’s opening day of action has covered a repeated loop of three stages – Myherin 20.28km, Sweet Lamb 4.24km and Hafren 35.14km. Teams were not afforded the luxury of a midday service with a remote tyre fitting zone in Newtown acting as the only respite for crews. A total distance of 119km run in dry conditions through the muddy Welsh forest offered a tough opening day with plenty of action still to run.

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul used Friday to battle back from a ten second penalty handed to them on Thursday ahead of the super special stage. Early struggles with the car in the morning loop improved and the Belgian crew ended the day with a stage win – moving up to fourth overall

Neuville said: “We have made improvements during the day and can be satisfied with where we are considering our time penalty from Thursday. The pace is there and we would have liked to be fighting at the top but that put us behind before we’d even really started. I struggled with the settings of the car on the first stage this morning, stalling the engine after running wide and losing some seconds. We changed the differential settings midway through the loop and found some improvements, which have allowed us to move up. Finishing the day with a stage win is encouraging and gives us the motivation we need to keep pushing on Saturday.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen / Jæger (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

In their second WRC event with Hyundai Motorsport, Mikkelsen and his co-driver Anders Jæger have made a steady start despite their low road position. Finishing the first full day in seventh overall, and within reach of those immediately in front, the crew will be looking to adapt to the tricky Welsh conditions as the weekend progresses.

Mikkelsen said: “It is always a pleasure to come back to Wales. I started my career here and it’s fun to be driving this year with Hyundai Motorsport. Although the weather conditions have been fine today, the stages are still incredibly slippery and that has made things quite difficult. From our road position, there hasn’t been much more we could do today. We are still learning about the car in these gravel conditions, and doing all we can to adapt and learn. That is our objective also for the rest of the weekend, and we hope to make up a few more positions on the way, as well.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#16 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

With no lunchtime service, the Spanish crew of Sordo and Marc Martí were focused on making it safely through the first day in the Welsh forest. After a disappointing home event in Spain, the crew want to showcase their true potential this weekend; they hold eighth place overall after seven stages.

Sordo said: “The stages this morning were a lot more slippery than I anticipated which I wasn’t expecting. The grip in SS4 (Hafren) was better, so we hoped to push more in the repeat loop, after the remote tyre fitting zone. Unfortunately, the grip changed again in the afternoon, which prevented us from doing much more. The stages were really fast at times, and I remain hopeful that we can make up some ground over the next two days.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Paddon and co-driver Sebastian Marshall return to WRC action this weekend aiming to recapture the competitive form that saw them finish on the podium in Poland earlier this season. Knowing that the opening day of action in Wales is always subject to tricky conditions, the crew worked on finding confidence in their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

Paddon said: “Wales Rally GB is a great rally, but it has certain particularities that you need to deliver against in order to be quick. First, you need absolutely bags of confidence and to be completely comfortable in the car. We always seem to struggle with understeer on the opening day, so we were mentally prepared for that, but it held us back today. The conditions were tricky, as you’d expect in Wales, but I’d almost have preferred it to be raining. We changed the settings for the afternoon loop but the conditions changed as well, so it’s a bit of a moving target. Tomorrow is, of course, another day and I hope we can enjoy it a bit more.”

Four in the fight

For the first time this season, Hyundai Motorsport is fielding four cars into a WRC event, adding to the workload of the team’s engineers and mechanics. The team wants to use this rally and the season finale in Australia to understand more about the performance of its Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on gravel in order to prepare diligently for the 2018 season.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “Running four cars means we have extra workload to manage this weekend. The team has worked incredibly hard to allow us to run four crews in Wales, and we now need to use this to our benefit. The conditions have been typical of Wales – unpredictable, slippery and evolving. It is precisely what makes the rally as enjoyable. All four of our crews have faced some challenges with the car settings today, which we have worked on throughout the day. Thierry showed the improvement made by claiming a stage win in the second run through Hafren, which will set him up well for Saturday. Andreas, Dani and Hayden are all inside the top-ten, and will be trying to find more pace and performance as this penultimate round of the 2017 Championship unfolds. All the lessons we are learning this weekend will serve us well for 2018.”

Saturday’s itinerary

The second full day of Wales Rally GB is made up of nine stages, including the short Cholmondeley Castle test near Chester, England, in the late afternoon.

The remaining four stages, run twice, are all located in the north east of Wales to make up a total competitive distance of 142.38km.

Aberhirnant, at 13.91km long, is the opening test at 07:55 local time, followed by the 17.91km Dyfant. This pair will be held as night stages at 18:55 and 19:47 respectively to bookend the itinerary.

Gatheiniog and Dyfi take place in the middle of the day with the 12.61km Gatheiniog 2 at 12:08, broadcast live.

Classification after Day One

E. Evans
D. Barritt
Ford Fiesta WRC

O. Tänak
M. Järveoja
Ford Fiesta WRC

S. Ogier
J. Ingrassia
Ford Fiesta WRC

T. Neuville
N. Gilsoul
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

J. M. Latvala
M. Anttila
Toyota Yaris WRC

K. Meeke
P. Nagle
Citroën C3 WRC

A. Mikkelsen
A. Jæger
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

D. Sordo
M. Martí
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

H. Paddon
S. Marshall
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

J. Hänninen
K. Lindström
Toyota Yaris WRC
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 - Four-car challenge for Hyundai Motorsport at Wales Rally GB
Hyundai Motorsport will contest the penultimate round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB, with four cars
Hayden Paddon returns after a one-rally absence to join Thierry Neuville, Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo in a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
The team aims to complete its fourth season in the WRC on a high note and is targeting a strong team result on the Welsh gravel roads.

Alzenau, Germany

October 20, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport will field a four-car entry into Wales Rally GB next week, the penultimate event in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), and the final round in Europe.

Following a series of disappointing events, the team is fully focused on securing a strong team result on the Welsh gravel roads with its most comprehensive line-up of the season.

Returning from a one-off rally absence, Hayden Paddon will take to the #4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, co-driven by Seb Marshall. Thierry Neuville will be aiming to regain second place in the Drivers’ Championship in the # 5 car with Andreas Mikkelsen lining up in the #6 in his second rally as a Hyundai Motorsport driver.

Dani Sordo will take control of the fourth car, running as the #16 entry, although the Spaniard will not be eligible to score Manufacturer Points.

Slippery when wet

Wales Rally GB will have a familiar feel to crews with just a few changes compared to the 2016 itinerary. Legendary stages such as Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren all make a welcome appearance on the schedule, which covers a total stage length of 304.36km. Meanwhile, Gwydir makes its first appearance since 2013, and sees crews compete in the picturesque Snowdonia Mountains.

Despite being one of the shortest overall distances of the season, the challenges offered by the Welsh stages will be augmented by the likelihood of wet autumnal conditions, which can leave stages incredibly treacherous.

Hyundai Motorsport’s crews have prepared for the rally by testing the latest specification Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on the Welsh roads last week. Despite recent setbacks in the Championship, the team is determined to put in representative performances in the final two rounds of the season – and to end 2017 with a positive foundation for next year.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We head to Wales focused on securing a good all-round team result in this penultimate round of the season. Entering four cars gives us a chance to perform at our highest level, but at the same time we recognise the challenges that this rally poses. We can never be sure of the weather conditions, and if it rains the stages can become incredibly slippery and tricky to tackle. We have been gradually improving our results in Wales each season. We finished on the podium there twelve months ago with Thierry, which gives us a positive feeling for this year. With Hayden, Andreas and Dani also showing good form in Wales in the past, I hope we can enjoy a more trouble-free weekend and pick up a better result for our team compared to recent rallies.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Paddon returns to WRC action on his favoured gravel surface and is looking to end the 2017 season in competitive form. He has taken top-five finishes in Wales in the past two seasons, and will be aiming to fight for his second podium of 2017 after finishing second in Poland back in July.

Paddon said: “Wales Rally GB is an iconic rally with plenty of driving challenges. The event has always been run late in the season, so we can expect some rain and potentially foggy conditions. In many ways, it is like being back home in New Zealand. There are some very nice, fast stages, and it is a rally I enjoy. Hopefully we can put together a good result and build up to a positive conclusion to what has been a tough season.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville is still mathematically in the Drivers’ Championship hunt so, along with compatriot Belgian co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, he will be putting in a big effort in Wales. Having taken the team’s maiden Welsh podium in 2016, all eyes will be on another top-three result in this year’s round.

Neuville said: “We were dealt something of a harsh blow in Spain, but we are ready to fight back in Wales. It is a unique event on the calendar, a rally where weather conditions can really dictate performance and confidence levels. If it’s raining, windy and muddy, the stages become incredibly slippery. It is without doubt a tough event, but one that I relish. I have finished on the podium a couple of times, and get a buzz from the fantastic atmosphere. Driving at high-speed through the forest stages, sometimes in the dark, is just incredible. I intend to keep pushing right to the end of the Championship.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

In their first WRC event with Hyundai Motorsport, Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger quickly made a positive impression. Leading the rally at the end of the opening day, it was a steep learning curve for the Norwegian duo. Their adaptation to the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC will continue on the all-gravel stages in Wales.

Mikkelsen said: “It is great to have a rally under my belt with the Hyundai Motorsport team and with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. It was a really valuable learning experience in Spain. Wales Rally GB has always been a special event for me, personally, as it was where I had my first-ever WRC event as a 17-year-old. I know the rally very well so I have an appreciation for its difficulties. It is a fair assumption to expect rain at some point, which creates a very slippery surface, but overall it is highly rewarding and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully to challenge near the front.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#16 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

For Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí, a promising home rally in Spain turned to frustration. As the only crew to have taken maximum Power Stage points in consecutive rallies this season, they will be targeting a less turbulent event in Wales Rally GB.

Sordo said: “Wales Rally GB is an event that most crews anticipate and enjoy. The combination of gravel stages, inclement weather conditions, and high speeds makes for a thrilling rally. Of course, when it is muddy, it gets slippery, so you need to have the confidence inside the cockpit to tackle the stages aggressively. The forest setting and narrow sections make it difficult but highly enjoyable. I am determined to end the year with a positive result. We missed out in Spain, where I know we could have finished on the podium, so that’s something I want to rectify in Wales.”

Wales Rally GB at a glance

Run over 21 special stages and a distance of 304.36km, Wales Rally GB offers a tough schedule with stages deep in the Welsh forest, often in muddy and unpredictable conditions.

The opening day kicks off with a short 1.49km test at the new Visit Conwy Tir Prince before crews move onto a combination of Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren – the longest individual stage of the rally at 35.14km – on Friday.

Saturday is the longest day of the weekend and incorporates stages run in the dark. The 13.91km Aberhirnant stage gets underway at 7.55am local time, and the day’s action concludes twelve hours later at the 17.91km Dyfnant. The short 1.80km Cholmondeley Castle splits up the loop of four stages, which is repeated in a different order on the second pass.

Sunday morning takes in five stages, Alwen and Brenig will be run twice, the latter as the rally-concluding Power Stage, with a solitary run through Gwydir. Dark mornings and evenings make for a typical late autumn rally with the Welsh weather always ready to play its part.

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - Thomson has near perfect run at Waitomo

Waiuku’s Dylan Thomson has taken a crucial victory at round five of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Handy Rentals Hamilton Rally Waitomo.

Thomson headed to the event knowing a finish was absolutely crucial, while keen to take the maximum points on offer. Another carrot dangling in front of the 22-year old was an extra prize for the first NZRC two-wheel drive class car (front-wheel drive up to two-litre) for the event, which included a free entry and 12 Dunlop tyres for the series finale, Rally New Zealand.

Thomson and co-driver Amy Hudson made the perfect start, powering the Total Lubricants Ford Fiesta to a stage win in each of the opening four special stages, while each of their class rivals also struck their own problems.

With a lead of more than half an hour heading into stage five, the power stage, with bonus points on offer, Thomson was free to charge. However the only drama of the day was to strike, with he and Hudson forced to stop and change a puncture, although they were able to take second place bonus points.

The rally offered up a sting in the tail with the final stage testing crews with more than 42 kilometres. Thomson however was up to the challenge, bringing the car home to secure victory.

The result means Thomson has a 15 point lead in the NZRC two-wheel drive class and also moves into a slender two-point lead in the Motorsport NZ two-wheel drive championship (For cars in the NZRC two-wheel drive and Open two-wheel drive class) despite running against cars with four times the power. Both titles will be decided at the next round, Rally New Zealand, on November 24-26.

“Apart from a puncture, really it was a dream run. The roads were out of this world and I really felt that they helped us push a lot harder than we have been able to in the past, and the result was just the icing on the cake really,” says Thomson.

“I’ve really got to thank Dunlop and Rally New Zealand for putting the prize on offer for the final round, for a team like us running on a tight budget it is a massive prize. As well as them, I want to give a huge shout out to our crew, who keep the car going for us and of course our sponsors, who we literally couldn’t do this without.”

Dylan Thomson Rallysport’s campaign is supported by Total Lubricants, Riordan and West Transport Pukekohe, Drew + Accounting, Harrier Signs, Absolute Spray Painting, Mark Rose Construction, LJ Hooker, Fowler Homes, Waiuku Beaurepairs, Ford Ultimate Motor Group, Stadium Finance, Jivan Produce, Dunlop, Hunt Diesel, Ferodo Racing Pads and GHL Tempfence.

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - van Klink ecstatic with Waitomo victory

Christchurch’s Marcus van Klink has come away with the desired victory after a near faultless run at round five of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Handy Rentals Hamilton Rally Waitomo.

Having debuted the Buteline Mazda RX-8 triple-rotor late last year, van Klink has suffered from a series of niggling issues across the season, but development, including a quicker steering rack, saw the car not only reliable, but also easier to drive on some of the most challenging roads the championship has to offer.

After setting the second fastest time in the Open Two-wheel drive class on the opening stage, van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill shot into the lead on stage two and never relinquished it, coming home with a win of more than two and a half minutes.

The only moment in an otherwise faultless run saw a loose suspension arm on the final stage that caused a puncture, however some quick roadside repairs meant the pair were able to make the finish and claim their victory.

“The Mazda was fantastic this weekend, some of the changes we have made have transformed the car, especially the quicker steering rack, it really makes the car a pleasure to drive,” says van Klink. “It was great to have a relatively trouble-free run as well, it’s such an exciting car and we’re really starting to get on top of it.”

The Klink Rallysport team now turn their attention to the final round of the NZRC, Rally New Zealand, based out of Tauranga on November 24-26. Despite a tough season, van Klink still has a mathematical chance of taking out the Open Two-Wheel drive championship.

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - Hawkeswood extends championship lead at Waitomo

Auckland’s Andrew Hawkeswood has extended his lead in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship after a challenging day saw him come home fourth at the penultimate round, the Handy Rentals Hamilton Rally Waitomo.

Hawkeswood headed to the event having made his way into the lead of the championship and looking to put a gap between himself and championship rival Matt Summerfield. He made the perfect start, able to survive a puncture late on the opening stage to still record the fastest time in the Mazda 2 AP4+ car.

A second puncture on stage two would be more costly as Hawkeswood dropped 30 seconds, but things became more difficult when he was forced to nurse an overheating engine through the 37 kilometre stage three.

With three long stages remaining, Hawkeswood and co-driver Jeff Cress were forced to manage the car for the remainder of the day. After surviving through stage four, Hawkeswood was able to record the fourth fastest time on stage five, which was the powerstage, earning him two crucial bonus points.

An impressive push through the final stage saw Hawkeswood take another stage win despite being forced to back off in the final quarter of the stage. The time was crucial, as it elevated Hawkeswood from sixth to fourth place, meaning he would secure 19 vital championship points.

“It was a pretty frustrating day for us really, once again we showed we had the pace to win the rally but niggling issues held us back. Having said that, everyone rallied together and we were able to really limit the damage,” said Hawkeswood. “Winning that last stage was quite a pleasant surprise, and pretty important to gain a couple more points. In the end, we’ve extended our championship lead and that’s what we wanted to do.”

Hawkeswood now holds a ten point lead in what has become a three-way fight for the title heading to the final round of the series, Rally New Zealand, on November 24-26.




Mon, 16 Oct 2017 - Sweet success for Cox in second
Cox Motorsports good fortune continued this weekend at Rally Waitomo with a podium finish, which follows on from a win at Ashley Forest recently. The car ran faultlessly with no mechanical issues and Sloan and Sarah were able to show their talent and speed together, proving that consistency and reliability is back with the Taslo Engineering Evo X.

Sloan described the rally as, “Some of my favourite roads I have driven in a long time. The fast and flowing pace suited my driving style and the car really well. It was the style of roads that rewarded the brave. I was very happy with the notes that Sarah and I wrote on a one pass recce”.

Reconnaissance commenced with an early start on Friday with the pair finishing late Friday night feeling confident they had captured it all on a one pass recce. Saturdays event had the service crew chasing the rally car around the rural roads of Piopio and Ohura, servicing in different locations, they made a plan and with the team working harmoniously, it all paid off. Sloan and Sarah believe they couldn’t have done it without their experienced service crew and support team.

“It was an awesome weekend for everyone in the team to get the results that we have been working hard for this season, also great to win two stages including the power stage. The roads were in fantastic condition and it was a well run event, we hope it will feature on the rally calendar next year,” commented Sloan.

Cox Motorsport would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters who have stood by us through a rough season, it is looking up and we hope to continue up for the last round, Rally NZ.

The team will now turn their sights closer to home and focus on keeping the car reliable and consistent for the final round run over two days in the Raglan and Bay of Plenty areas.
Recent Results
1A. Graves / J. Leebody (1)42:37.0
2J. Judd / G. Marra (3)+29.1
3M. Tall / M. Richards (4)+33.9
4R. Gardner / A. Ramsay (2)+39.2
5C. Strang / R. Stewart (5)+54.7
6M. Turfus / S. Gray (7)+1:36.0
7D. Cameron / G. Frew (13)+2:04.8
8J. Mitchell / A. Mitchell (16)+2:12.7
9R. Chadwick / R. Chadwick (12)+2:31.3
10G. Williamson / M. Crook (8)+2:42.1
11B. Murray / C. Ward (15)+2:48.6
12J. Giltrap / P. Millar (11)+3:24.5
13E. Clark / C. Flynn (32)+3:49.0
14A. Warren / G. Jordan (20)+3:58.7
15J. Keach / B. McLaren (10)+4:08.6
16S. Wellington / H. Biggs (9)+4:17.9
17B. Rawstron / I. McKee (26)+4:47.8
18D. Jenkins / S. Henderson (34)+5:36.3
19S. Paul / T. Paul (29)+5:38.9
20G. Read / J. Lankshear (25)+5:52.6
21I. Warren / C. Edgar (38)+5:57.5
22C. Saxton / C. Cockburn (35)+6:12.9
23B. Anderson / B. Lyons (18)+6:14.8
24T. Smith / T. Johnston (45)+6:37.9
25R. Turner / S. Eustace (39)+6:43.6
26R. Wilkinson / R. Wilkinson (36)+6:50.4
27A. Garrick / H. Garrick (44)+7:12.5
28J. Thomas / B. Palmer (19)+7:44.8
29J. Glass / K. Reed (41)+8:14.8
30R. Richards / V. Ellis (40)+8:34.2
31R. Ford / C. McFarlane (46)+9:07.6
32M. Garrick / L. Garrick (30)+9:08.6
33G. Keen / I. Larsen (42)+9:40.6
34J. Vause / A. Vause (37)+9:51.4
35M. Laughton / A. Laughton (23)+10:36.8
1G. Inkster / S. Winn (954)4:48:09.3
2N. Waal / S. Reynolds (980)+6:36.5
3J. Gill / M. Robinson (972)+7:09.3
4S. Kirk-Burnnand / M. Hay (756)+8:23.5
5M. Dippie / J. Grant (640)+9:51.5
6D. Rogers / A. Kelly (976)+17:48.5
7B. Green / F. Pedersen (958)+20:07.2
8I. Knauf / T. Corbin (933)+21:18.6
9T. Grooten / B. Grooten (751)+23:25.8
10M. Kirk-Burnnand / C. Kirk-Burnnand (293)+24:22.9
11R. Ryan / P. Burborough (186)+24:23.2
12M. Tubbs / M. Vincent (531)+25:31.9
13C. West / C. Cobham (975)+28:22.5
14K. Callinan / M. Callinan (145)+29:54.8
15M. Wales / M. Osborne (993)+30:35.1
16G. Wong / K. Blatchley (988)+32:24.8
17C. Kirk-Burnnand / J. Hanafid (291)+33:34.5
18P. Jones / R. Chalmers (147)+33:44.0
19S. O'Donnell / S. Milne (558)+34:08.0
20B. Boniface / S. Butler (643)+35:16.1
21W. Knott / D. Jameson (916)+36:02.8
22J. Friar / N. Chibnall-West (583)+37:59.9
23S. Callaway / R. Callaway (936)+38:07.5
24B. Kirk-Burnnand / D. O'Caroll (267)+38:41.8
25A. Oakley / S. Hutchins (866)+38:51.4
26G. Russell / R. Currey (513)+40:06.4
27M. McCaughan / L. Lyons (290)+41:57.8
28J. Rowley / M. Bailey (477)+42:27.6
29S. Blucher / A. Neva (941)+43:06.7
30M. Lowe / P. Sutton (564)+44:21.4
31L. Bawden / R. Bawden (744)+45:08.3
32R. Webster / N. Webster (505)+46:29.9
33J. Thomson / E. Thomson (635)+48:04.7
34R. Ramson / A. Lyall (284)+50:03.5
35J. Mccandless / M. Mumm (989)+50:09.4
36H. Moore / K. Silverthorn (209)+50:12.0
37M. Take / L. Wood (708)+51:30.9
38K. Twomey / B. Parker (951)+54:33.2
39S. Walden / B. Walden (436)+54:58.9
40M. Hellier / S. West (255)+1:02:09.6
41M. Hunt / M. Wilkey (546)+1:05:35.2
42D. Webster / R. Wolff (110)+1:16:01.5
43J. Worth / H. Worth (136)+1:17:36.0
44D. O'Neill / B. Brookbanks (493)+1:18:30.1
45S. Smith / G. Norrish (212)+1:23:36.6
46R. Bokhoven / M. Bokhoven (177)+2:20:48.7
Coming Soon
5 days to go
11 days to go
2017 Points
1S. Ogier198
2O. Tanak161
3T. Neuville160
4J.M Latvala123
5D. Sordo94
6E. Evans93
7J. Hänninen71
8C. Breen64
9K. Meeke60
10H. Paddon55
1Jamie Whincup (Holden)2850
2Scott McLaughlin (Ford)2820
3Fabian Coulthard (Ford)2674
4Chaz Mostert (Ford)2586
5Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden)2574
6Craig Lowndes (Holden)2160
7Cameron Waters (Ford)2071
8Mark Winterbottom (Ford)2058
9Garth Tander (Holden)2028
10David Reynolds (Holden)1956
1Andrew Hawkeswood109
2Ben Hunt99
3Matt Summerfield98
4David Holder75
5Sloan Cox68
6Rhys Gardner67
7Graham Featherstone66
8Tony Gosling58
9Job Quantock51
10Dylan Turner47
1Jeff Judd149
2Deane Buist148
3David Quantock114
4Matt Summerfield107
5Carter Strang96
6Garet Thomas85
7Michael Tall74
8Richard Bateman71
9Tony Gosling61
10Ashton Wood59
1Matt Adams104
2Warwick Redfern92
3Dylan Thomson66
4Adam Bligh65
5Jack Williamson58
6Paul Fraser48
7Doug Adnitt45
8Justin Glavish39
9Daniel Alexander36
10Carl Adnitt22
1Martin Dippie368
2Mark Kirk-Burnnand362
3Ivan Knauf350
4Jason Gill314
5Chris West304
6Robert Boniface286
7David Rogers280
7Stewart Callaway280
9Robert Darrington275
10Leigh Hopper272