Rallye Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras in the Fafe region was held last weekend with the popular competition that saw large crowds flock to the event this year to see Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo driving the Hyundai i20 WRC outside the WRC. They both drove to test ahead of the upcoming Rally Mexico, and for the Portuguese WRC round running in May.
Sordo entered in a normal WRC car, while Tänak drove a car with updated aerodynamic kit that will be introduced during the season – a new splitter on the front and a redesigned rear wing.
“It’s always a pleasure to come to Portugal and drive the iconic stages of Rally Serras de Fafe. We enjoyed driving the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC here and giving the Portuguese fans the opportunity to see the car in action in their national championship.” Sordo said.
“There were a lot of supporters who travelled from Spain as well, which is always nice to see. We worked together with Ott and the team to find different solutions and a good set-up for our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on gravel. It was really important for us to get into a rhythm before Rally México, and Rally Serras de Fafe was a perfect opportunity to do just that.”
“We used this weekend to get more seat-time and competitive mileage with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC ahead of the upcoming gravel rallies. It’s always nice to drive at such a popular event and on iconic stages familiar to us from Rally de Portugal.” Tänak said.
“It was a productive weekend as we worked closely with the engineers and Dani to find some good settings for our car on gravel. We had a test in the south of Spain earlier this week to prepare for Mexico but of course it’s always helpful to have more time in the car, especially in competitive mode as we had here in Fafe.”
After Friday’s three stages, Armindo Araujo led in a Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 5.2 seconds ahead of Nikolay Gryazin who was also on site together with the Hyundai Motorsport to test ahead of the upcoming rounds.
A total of ten stages were run on Saturday, after Saturday’s first-three stages Gryazin topped but had to retire due to going off the road in the rain.
Araujo, who was 20 seconds behind, took back the lead, driving home the victory 1:26 minutes before Bruno Magalhaes, he debuted for the new Portuguese Hyundai team, Ricardo Teodósio in a Škoda finished third.
A nice eighth place overall for Javier Pardo Siota who debuted with the Suzuki Swift R4LLY S, a brand-new R4 model from Suzuki. The team’s second car with Joan Vinyes came 12th overall.
“Rally Serras de Fafe was a perfect opportunity to work again closely with Hyundai Portugal. We brought two WRC cars here to support the debut of their national campaign with the Hyundai i20 R5 and their marketing activities – reaffirming the commitment we have towards our customers.
“I would like to thank them for the warm welcome in their home country and for all the help they have given us again this year.” Andrea Adamo, Team Principal at Hyundai Motorsport, said.