Hyundai boss especially pleased with one aspect: “It’s crucially important”

Hyundai claimed a strategic victory at the Rally de Portugal.
Thierry Neuville and Cyril Abiteboul
Thierry Neuville and Cyril Abiteboul. Photo by: Hyundai Motorsport
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While Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier won the rally that concluded on Sunday, the Japanese manufacturer had few other reasons to celebrate.

Hyundai star Thierry Neuville, leading the championship, significantly increased his lead over Elfyn Evans, who is currently second in the standings. Neuville finished third in Portugal and now leads the championship by 24 points over Evans. The weekend was overall successful for the Korean manufacturer, as Ott Tänak earned the highest point total from the rally, scoring 26 championship points.

It’s been a positive rally with some great teamwork and very strong performances from both Ott and Thierry,” praised Hyundai team principal Cyril Abiteboul.

“Thierry is leaving Portugal having extended his lead over Evans, something that is crucial in a championship where points are so hard to score,” Abiteboul continued.

Abiteboul was also pleased with Ott Tänak’s awakening this season. Although Tänak did not win, he secured the biggest point haul and showed promising signs of improvement.

“Ott on his side is starting to increase his confidence in the car, demonstrated by some very strong stage times to take home the most points of the weekend,” Abiteboul commended the Estonian.

Dani Sordo returned to the Rally1 car in Portugal after a long break, providing valuable support to Neuville and Tänak.

“Dani he has contributed massively to the points for the manufacturers’ standings and has been the support that the team needed. At the next round we will see what we can do to help him improve his performance even more.”

Hyundai is now well-positioned. Neuville leads the drivers’ championship, and the team is at the top of the manufacturers’ standings.

“All three of the crews’ results have helped us edge into the lead of the manufacturers’ championship, so it’s an important result for the remainder of our season.”

The World Rally Championship will continue in less than three weeks in Sardinia.

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