Hyundai Motorsport claimed their first double podium of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship season at the 2016 Rallye Deutschland.
In what was a thrilling finish to Rallye Deutschland with Hyundai drivers Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville alongside Volkswagen’s Andreas Mikkelsen all covered by four seconds before Sunday’s final stages battling for second place.
However, it was Sordo, who returned to Germany after missing the previous round in Finland due to a back injury who claimed the top position for Hyundai in second.
Meanwhile, the second New Generation i20 of Neuville, who won the Sauertal Power Stage by only one-tenth of a second was third, making it a double podium for the Korean manufacturer.
Finally, the third New Generation i20 of New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon was fifth, making it all three Hyundai’s in the top five, which means that Hyundai are now 55 points behind Volkswagen in the Manufacturers’ Standings coming into the Tour de Corse in September.
Sordo said after finishing second in Germany “That was unbelievably close but I am delighted to take our first podium of the season. We have come so close many times this year with fourth places in Mexico, Argentina, Portugal and Sardinia so it’s great that we’ve finally done it. After the disappointment of not being able to participate in Finland, we wanted to come here and show a good performance.
“It’s not been easy with the tricky conditions but we’ve kept our focus and this second position is the perfect reward. The car has performed faultlessly this weekend, and the team has to be commended on their work. It’s a big effort from everyone so to have two cars inside the top three is a wonderful result, especially on their home rally.”
Neuville is looking ahead to Corsica next month after finishing third at Rallye Deutschland “It was a thrilling battle for second and we did absolutely all we could. I am still happy to take third place and to share a double podium. It’s a special team result after a complicated weekend in unpredictable conditions.
“We had a strong final morning, showing our potential with two stage wins, including the Power Stage. It wasn’t quite enough to get past Dani for second place but it could not have been any closer. The three PS points are a nice reward so thanks to the whole team for giving us a car that could be so competitive this weekend. Now, our attention turns to Corsica!”
Paddon added “It’s not been a straightforward rally for us but I am pleased to have ended it on a positive note. We’ve picked up a decent haul of points for fifth place, which lifts us to equal third in the Championship.
“We have used this weekend to learn more about our driving in this rally, which is without doubt the most challenging of the asphalt events. We made some small improvements today, which will help us for the next rally in Corsica. Most importantly, it has been a great weekend for the team with a double podium. It’s a great reward for everyone’s effort back at Alzenau.”