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  • Hyundai Motorsport has strengthened its lead in Rally de España, the 11th round of the 12-event FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
  • Thierry Neuville scored six stage wins out of Saturday’s seven stages to increase his advantage over Elfyn Evans to 16.4 seconds.
  • Dani Sordo, in the sole remaining Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC following Ott Tänak’s retirement on Friday, continues to keep the pressure on the podium, just 1.2-seconds from third place.

Salou, Spain
October 16, 2021 – Hyundai Motorsport has extended its advantage in Rally de España to 16.4 seconds after a masterclass performance from Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe on the penultimate day of the all-tarmac event.
The Belgians were on top form from start to finish to extend their slender 0.7-second overnight lead steadily with each stage. Meanwhile, fourth-placed duo Dani Sordo and Cándido Carrera maintained pressure on Sébastien Ogier throughout the day with just a 1.2-second gap to the final podium spot and four stages still to run on Sunday.

Saturday’s itinerary covered a total of 117.54km across a repeated loop of three stages – Savallà (SS7/SS10, 14.08km), Querol-Les Pobles (SS8/SS11, 19.17km) and El Montmell (SS9/SS12, 24.40km) – as well as a spectator packed run through the 2.24km Salou stage.
Neuville and Wydaeghe scored five consecutive stage wins from SS7-SS11, adding to the four they claimed on Friday, and ended the day with another impressive display in SS13. Their ten fastest times from Rally de España so far have seen Hyundai Motorsport move through 100 stage wins in a single season for the first time. The crew have been on imperious form as they chase their second WRC win of 2021.
Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

  • An impressive streak of stage wins from SS4 (Friday) to SS11 (Saturday afternoon)
  • Belgians gradually built up an impressive 16.4-second lead

Neuville said: “We have had a good day and it’s obviously a very nice feeling to be leading the rally going into the final day. It wasn’t easy; we had some fog early on and the roads were very dirty, so I relied a lot on information from the road note crew. We have taken a clever approach, trying to avoid the sharp cuts, and not risking any punctures. We made an important set-up change yesterday that allowed us to take more out of the car, but there are still things we could have done to go even quicker. I still felt comfortable, and we set six fastest times out of the seven stages, so it wasn’t too bad! It’s always nice to be in front but there are some challenging stages yet to come. Nothing is guaranteed but we keep believing.”
Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

  • Spaniards kept pressure on Sébastien Ogier in the fight for the final podium place
  • Crew supported a Hyundai Motorsport 1-2 in SS9 and SS13

Sordo said: “Honestly, I am quite happy with our performance today, and particularly on the El Montmell stage. I would have preferred to be fighting for the win, of course, but I have been pushing hard to keep up with Sébastien for third. This morning, we were in a nice fight but in the afternoon, he was always a step ahead, setting some strong times. It was difficult for us to make up much ground. We have done the maximum we could, and we’ve been close to his pace. We will try to push for the podium tomorrow, but we know it will be difficult. We have to stay focused and do our best.”
Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “It has been a nice day for us. Thierry has continued to put in an amazing performance to extend his lead of the rally. It really shows the level of competitiveness of these cars that even after such a big fight, the gaps can still be so close. Dani has found it difficult to stay in front of Ogier, but we appreciate the effort and tenacity he has shown. The gap is now very small so there is a big opportunity for a fight tomorrow. We just have to see what we can bring home. The important thing is to enjoy it.”
Sunday at a Glance

  • A loop of two stages – Santa Marina (9.10km) and Riudecanyes (16.35km) – will be run twice on the final morning, a total of 50.90km
  • The second pass of Santa Marina will act as the rally’s Power Stage with extra driver and manufacturer points available for the fastest crews.

Classification after Day Two

1 T. Neuville M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2:03:45.7
2 E. Evans S. Martin Toyota Yaris WRC +16.4
3 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Toyota Yaris WRC +38.7
4 D. Sordo C. Carrera Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +39.9
5 K. Rovanperä J. Halttunen Toyota Yaris WRC +1:12.3
6 G. Greensmith C. Patterson Ford Fiesta WRC +3:45.2
7 O. Solberg C. Drew Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +3:45.9
8 N. Solans M. Martí Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +3:53.8