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Sordo Back for Rally Mexico - 4 Mar 19

Dani Sordo back in Hyundai team for Rally Mexico

Dani Sordo and his co-driver, Carlos del Barrio, are back in the Hyundai Motorsport line-up for the first gravel event of the exciting 2019 World Rally Championship season on the coming weekend in Mexico, where they finished second last year.

And after two podium positions – in the opening round in Rallye Monte-Carlo and in the recent Rally Sweden – Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul also tackle Rally Mexico with the aim to help claim the leading position in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships.

Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jaeger-Amland will fill the seats in the third Hyundai i20 WRC Coupé on the dusty roads of Mexico from coming Thursday to Sunday. Hyundai Motorsport is one point behind the Toyota Gazoo Racing team in the manufacturers’ championship

“Following their second place in Monte Carlo in January, we were very pleased to see Thierry and Nicolas finish third on Rally Sweden last month, with Andreas and Anders not far behind in fourth – and seventh-placed Sébastien (Loeb) and Daniel (Elena) ensuring that all our Hyundai i20 WRC Coupés were inside the top 10,” said Andrea Adamo, team director of Hyundai Motorsport.

“We can summarise our Swedish result as ‘could have been worse, should have been better’. Our three crews pushed to the limit of what they could do in tricky conditions and we appreciate the efforts they all went to.

“The pace of our car has been evident in the first two rounds of the season, but we need to keep pushing for more as we start Rally Mexico, which will be a completely different challenge given the dusty gravel stages run at altitudes of up to 2 700 metres. And there is also the high ambient temperature approaching 30ºC to contend with.

“For Rally Mexico we welcome Dani and Carlos back to the team for their first start of 2019. They finished a strong second last year, while our other drivers have also made it onto the podium in Mexico with third-place finishes for Thierry in 2013, 2014 and 2017, and Andreas in 2015,” said Adamo.

Sordo said he feels “good and excited” before the weekend’s challenge. “It’s a very nice rally and I always have a lot of pleasure there. Not having done the first two rallies of the season will give me a good road position for the Friday stages.

“You always lose a bit of power in the Mexico stages because you’re really at a high altitude. But with the current World Rally Cars you feel it less than before because they actually have more base power so you can still enjoy it. I am also here to fight for the victory. Last year we had a puncture and lost a little bit of time for this and finished second. I don’t know if we can win or not but of course I will try.”

 “It’s true when you do the same stages you know the road a bit better. Of course, you still need the co-driver, but when you know the stages you take more pleasure in them because you can pay more attention to your driving style and the road in front of you. When it’s two passes only of a new stage in the recce there is more stress and you can’t drive at 100%.”

Mexico was the setting of Hyundai Motorsport’s maiden World Rally Championship podium position in 2014. This season marks the team’s sixth appearance on the country’s WRC round.

The Drivers’ Championship standings before Rally Mexico are:

1 Ott Tänak (EST) 47 pts; 2 Thierry Neuville (BEL) 40; 3 Sébastien Ogier (FRA) 31; 4 Kris Meeke (GBR) 21; 5 Esapekka Lappi (FIN) 19; 6 Sébastien Loeb (FRA) 18; 7 Elfyn Evans (GBR) 13; 8 Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) 12; 9 Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) 10; 10 Gus Greensmith (GBR) 6.

The Manufacturers’ Championship standings before Rally Mexico are:

1 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 58 pts; 2 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 57; 3 Citroën Total World Rally Team 47; 4 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 30.



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