Hyundai Motorsport has secured third place in Wales Rally GB, the penultimate round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
The result means that Hyundai Motorsport has secured second place in the WRC Manufacturers’ Championship, behind Volkswagen Motorsport with one rally still to run. It is the team’s best result having finished fourth in its debut season in 2014 and narrowly missing out on second place last year.
Third place in this weekend’s rally also marks the first Wales podium for the Hyundai team in its third season of WRC after two previous fourth-place finishes.
At the end of 22 competitive stages, run over a total distance of 330km, Thierry Neuville was able to defend a hard-fought third position from team-mate Hayden Paddon. The Belgian also picked up an additional Championship point for claiming the third fastest time in the rally-concluding Power Stage.
Paddon finished the event in fourth position, just under 20 seconds behind Neuville, his personal best result in Wales Rally GB. Dani Sordo ensured all three New Generation i20 WRCs completed the tricky Welsh event inside the top-six with a steady run to sixth.
The final morning saw crews tackle six stages on the notoriously challenging and slippery Welsh gravel. The 7.70km Clocaenog, 10.41km Alwen and 7.93km Brenig stages all posed their own tests with the latter of the three acting as the Power Stage. Against a backdrop of autumnal colour, all three Hyundai Motorsport crews negotiated the muddy stages cleanly and without any major issues.
Rally Australia will bring the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship to its conclusion in three weeks’ time, taking place from 17-20 November.