Hyundai test driver Kevin Abbring scored the first major victory for the manufacturer's new i20 R5 at France's Rallye du Var on Sunday.
The Dutchman and co-driver Seb Marshall won the Asphalt rally, the last round of the French championship, by almost a minute from Yoann Bonato in a Citroën DS 3 R5.
The pair claimed two stage wins, and finished ahead of teams running WRC-spec machinery, to become only the second non-French and first R5 crew to win the rally.
In tricky conditions after heavy rain before the start, world rally car runners David Salanon (Ford Fiesta RS) and Citroën DS 3 driver Stéphane Lefebvre, reunited with co-driver Gabin Moreau, were the early pace setters.
But Lefebvre dropped out of the fight on SS7 when he went off after reporting a transmission problem, and when Salanon crashed on SS10 Abbring took the lead and held it until the finish.
"We came here to prove the competitiveness of the car and an overall win is best way to do that," said Abbring.
"We had a good test before the rally, so we had a nice set-up for the conditions that we only needed to make small changes to. We lost some time with the harder tyres on Saturday, but the stages were very challenging and we didn’t want to take too many risks. The stages here are very tight so it’s not surprising that many drivers made mistakes.
"We’ve shown on other events that the car is very competitive, and it’s great now to have the result that we’ve deserved for so long.”