Hyundai Shell World Rally Team finishes in style at Rally Mexico
The Hyundai Shell World Rally Team has celebrated a landmark result in the gruelling Rally Mexico with lead driver Thierry Neuville scoring a maiden podium for the team.
Aussie Chris Atkinson also secured a points finish in his first competitive outing in the Hyundai i20 WRC, fighting his way back to seventh place after overcoming technical difficulties early in the rally.
Thierry Neuville with his co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were in scintillating form over the weekend after initially struggling with the gravel terrain and high altitude on the first full day.
The Belgium put in a string of competitive stage times on Saturday to edge his way into a podium position by the end of the day before continuing his fine form into Sunday’s final stages to consolidate the result and pick up 15 drivers’ points.
The result wasn’t without its moments of drama, because the Hyundai i20 WRC developed a radiator leak at the conclusion of the final stage.
For Chris Atkinson Rally Mexico was his first competitive WRC event for more than a year and his first as a driver for the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team.
The Aussie exceeded the team’s expectations by completing the gruelling event in his Hyundai i20 WRC finishing a highly commendable seventh place overall, picking up six well deserved championship points.
Atkinson and co-driver Stéphane Prévot had to overcome some technical issues on the opening day but still registered a top 10 position heading into Saturday’s stages.
The pairing continued to fight hard despite encountering demanding conditions through the Mexican gravel terrain as one of the first drivers to contest each stage.
They achieved the target of completing the rally and ensuring that Hyundai Shell World Rally Team, in just its third WRC event, brought both cars to the finish for the first time.
Rally Mexico has been the toughest test so far for the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team with some of the longest, most arduous stages and physical demands on the team with the high altitude in Mexico.
The result marks the first time that both Hyundai i20 WRC cars complete a full rally event but to do so with a podium result far exceeds the team’s objectives and adds 23 championship points to its 2014 tally.
For a full rundown on roadready Hyundai vehicles call into Shepparton Hyundai, Benalla Rd. Or phone the showroom on 5822 5877.
Thierry Neuville with his co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were in scintillating form scoring a maiden podium for the team