Ott Tanak clinched a primary WRC win for Hyundai on Finland’s iconic quick gravel roads final weekend, after the Estonian produced an against-the-odds efficiency to defeat Toyota on the Finnish-based workforce’s residence occasion.
Tanak’s success was Hyundai’s second win of the 2022 season after the 2019 world champion had additionally claimed the highest honours in Sardinia again in June.
However the workforce’s begin to the WRC’s hybrid period has largely been disappointing, its 2022 marketing campaign with the i20 N plagued by reliability and efficiency woes that stem type the South Korean marque’s late dedication to the brand new guidelines.
This has additionally performed out amid inner struggles inside the squad following the departure of long-time workforce principal Andrea Adamo late final yr.
Nonetheless, Rally Finland marked the second occasion the place there was no signal of any reliability points, whereas Tanak proved the i20 N has the velocity to tackle Toyota.
It has left deputy workforce director Julien Moncet assured his workforce is taking strides with the event of its 2022 automobile.
“I hope a nook has been handed, however we have now to be cautious as effectively as a result of we had the same lead to Sardinia and after the next races weren’t so optimistic following that,” stated Moncet.
“Now we have to be very cautious to not be too optimistic. Now we have to benefit from the end result nevertheless it shouldn’t put us away from our goal which is to have this end result each rally.
Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai World Rally Group Hyundai i20 N Rally1, Julien Moncet, Deputy Group Director & Powertrain Supervisor, Hyundai World Rally Group, Sean Kim, Hyundai
Photograph by: Romain Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport
“After all we’re at all times creating the automobile. We are going to proceed, we all know the automobile is much from being excellent and we’ll proceed pushing, and hopefully this can give us extra increase to push much more.
“Already in Estonia we had nearly nothing [in terms of reliability issues] and right here as effectively.
“It is vitally good as we have now misplaced lots of factors and alternatives on account of reliability points, so it’s optimistic for us. Hopefully we are able to focus extra on the efficiency.”
Whereas Tanak led Hyundai’s cost, the workforce’s different senior driver Thierry Neuville struggled to seek out the boldness to tame the tough i20 N in Finland, ending greater than two minutes adrift in fifth.
Neuville did overtly admit that Finland’s gravel roads have by no means been amongst his favorite circumstances within the WRC, and is predicted to shine on residence soil in Belgium subsequent week.
Nonetheless, the four-time WRC runner-up has revealed that the automobile may very well be set for much more speedy progress within the not-too-distant future.
“If he [engineering consultant Christian Loriaux] will get the inexperienced gentle to do what he desires, I believe we’ll progress even faster,” he stated when requested concerning the workforce’s plans.
As previously reported, Hyundai is unlikely to launch a big replace package deal for its automobile till October on the earliest.