Did you notice this? Toyota’s rally team faces weakest position in nearly four years

After the recent Rally de Portugal, a scenario unfolded that hasn't been seen in nearly four years in the series.
Sebastien Ogier
Sebastien Ogier. Photo by: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool
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While Toyota’s French maestro Sebastien Ogier clinched victory on the Portuguese gravel, Hyundai overall outperformed Toyota during the weekend. Ott Tänak, finishing second, and Thierry Neuville, in third place, secured the season’s largest manufacturer’s points haul for Hyundai.

Hyundai earned a total of 50 points, while Toyota had to settle for 39 points. Of those, Ogier contributed 25 points, while sixth-place finisher Elfyn Evans added eight, and Kalle Rovanperä, who had to restart once, brought in only six.

With the points from Portugal, Hyundai moved to the top of the manufacturer’s championship standings, four points ahead of Toyota. It’s been nearly four years since Hyundai last topped the leaderboard at the end of the 2020 season.

You can view the complete standings of the WRC here.

Since the start of the 2021 season at Monte Carlo, Toyota has dominated the manufacturer’s championship. Until now, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT had maintained the top position in the manufacturer’s championship consistently.

Toyota’s primary goal this season is to secure the manufacturer’s championship, which it has won three times consecutively. However, Hyundai has shown that it will not let Toyota have an easy run as in previous years.

Despite aiming for its first drivers’ championship, Hyundai has effectively utilized the series’ new scoring system, with Neuville and Tänak earning substantial points for their team on ‘Super Sundays.’

For instance, in Portugal, the Hyundai stars amassed the maximum possible points for their team on Sunday, totaling 22. In contrast, Toyota garnered only 14 points on the final day of the event.

A similar scenario occurred at the Safari Rally at the end of March. While Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä won the overall event, Hyundai salvaged its weekend by claiming the full 22 points available on Sunday, with Toyota securing only 11 points – half as many.

The WRC will continue in just over two weeks in Sardinia.

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