Hyundai’s Shell World Rally Team (HWRT) has taken third place in Rally Mexico, marking the team’s first podium finish after just three World Rally Championship starts.
Driver Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul wore the honour of securing the team’s first silverware, more than 1m20s ahead of the fourth placed Evans/Barritt Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
The team is also celebrating a seventh-place finish for Australian Chris Atkinson, scoring points in his first outing with the team.
HWRT was satisfied that both of its i20 entries reached the finish line, noting that the team “exceeded all targets set”.
Atkinson’s i20 suffered early technical difficulties, which saw the Aussie and co-driver Stéphane Prévot spending most of the rally clawing their way back through the field to score six World Championship points.
“It’s not been an easy weekend but what a way to end it for the team to celebrate a two-car finish and our debut podium,” Atkinson said.
“Mexico is a tough rally and I have had to deal with a few issues during the event. We had a suspension problem on Friday which put us down the order and then we had to run early in the subsequent stages which meant a lot of slippery conditions.”
Atkinson said a sensible and cautious approach saw the i20 reach the finish line, and the team made some improvements to the car along the way.
From Mexico, the WRC moves to round four in the Rally de Portugal, April 3-6.
Overall Classification - Rally Mexico
- 1. S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 4:27:41.8
- 2. J.M. Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:12.6
- 3. T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +5:28.6
- 4. E. Evans / D. Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +6:49.3
- 5. M. Prokop / J. Tománek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +9:54.4
- 6. B. Guerra / B. Rozada (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +12:57.6
- 7. C. Atkinson / S. Prévot (Hyundai i20 WRC) +15:15.4
- 8. M. Hirvonen / J. Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +17:06.8
- 9. M. Østberg / J. Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +25:41.6
- 10. Y. Protasov / P. Cherepin (Ford Fiesta R5) +28:18.2
2014 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
S. Ogier - 63 points / J.M. Latvala - 60 / M. Østberg - 32 / A. Mikkelsen - 24 / E. Evans - 20 / B. Bouffier - 18 / M. Hirvonen - 18 / C. Meeke - 17 / T. Neuville - 15 / O. Tanak - 10 / M. Prokop - 10 / B. Guerra - 8 / H. Solberg - 6 / C. Atkinson - 6 / J. Melicharek - 4 / P. Tidemand - 4 / M. Gamba - 2 / C. Breen - 2 / J. Protasov - 2
2014 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
Volkswagen Motorsport 115 points / Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 60 / M-Sport World Rally Team 40 / Hyundai Motorsport - 31 / Volkswagen Motorsport II - 28 / Jipocar Czech National Team - 10 / RK M-Sport World Rally Team - 4