Hyundai Motorsport has taken a double podium result in Rally Finland, the tenth round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with Ott Tänak and Craig Breen completing the high-speed gravel event in second and third respectively.
The result marks the first-ever podium finishes for Hyundai Motorsport in Rally Finland, adding to the team’s victory and third place in the Arctic Rally Finland earlier in the year. The team has now claimed 14 individual podium finishes after 10 rounds, the most in a single season since its debut in 2014.
Sunday’s schedule covered four stages, and Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja cemented their second place with a trouble-free final day ahead of Breen and his compatriot Paul Nagle, who secured their fourth podium result with Hyundai Motorsport.
Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe were forced to retire from the rally on Saturday after sustaining terminal damage to their Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC engine.
Taking place on a later autumnal calendar slot, Rally Finland has offered its usual high octane rally action with a relentless rollercoaster of 19 stages on some of the fastest roads of the season.
Hyundai Motorsport had only taken eight stage wins in Finland prior to this year’s event and amassed nine over this weekend, underscoring a notable improvement in pace across its crews. Tänak took seven fastest times across three days of competitive action with Breen scoring two, contributing to the team’s most accomplished performance in Rally Finland to date.
Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja:
“It has been great fun to be competing in Rally Finland, the first time for me on these roads with this car,” said Tänak. “Hyundai didn’t have a great track record in this event in previous years, however this weekend we were fighting for stage wins and for victory for most of the event. We almost made it, but we know what we can achieve now. Coming back next year – admittedly with a new concept of car – we will try to go one better.”
Crew Notes: Craig Breen/Paul Nagle:
“It’s a proud moment to finish on the podium in Rally Finland, and to have been part of the team’s best result in this event,” said Breen. “I can’t honestly believe that we’ve taken three podiums in a row! It has been a really good weekend for us, and I have loved every single second.”
Team principal Andrea Adamo said: “We have come to Finland, a rally where we have never been competitive, where we’ve always struggled, and we have fought for the win right until the end. It’s thanks to the entire team package – our drivers, co-drivers, engineers and mechanics have worked really hard.
“I don’t think anyone was expecting us to be so close to the win, with two cars in the podium positions. It might be another occasion where we are not winning, but we have never stopped believing in our capabilities and this result is testament to that.”
The penultimate round of the 2021 WRC season, Rally de España, will take place on tarmac roads in Spain from 14 to 17 October.
Final results Rally Finland:
|Toyota Yaris WRC||2:19:13.7|
|Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC||+14.1|
|Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC||+42.2|
|Toyota Yaris WRC||+58.8|
|Toyota Yaris WRC||+2:54.4|
|Ford Fiesta WRC||+5:02.3|
|Ford Fiesta WRC||+6:22.9|
|Volkswagen Polo GTI||+9:52.1|
|Citroën C3 Rally2||+10:07.8|
|Škoda Fabia Evo||+10:52.8|
World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings:
|1||Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team||441|
|2||Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team||380|
|3||M-Sport Ford World Rally Team||172|
|4||Hyundai 2C Competition||44|
World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings: