Sébastien Loeb and Jari Huttunen added to Dani Sordo’s last-gasp Rally Italia Sardegna victory with wins of their own as Hyundai Motorsport celebrated three i20 World Rally Car successes last weekend.
Nine-time world champion Loeb won Rallye Vosges - Grande Est in France while Huttunen brought another factory i20 home first at the Pohjanmaa Ralli in Finland.
Hyundai Motorsport director Andrea Adamo admitted he was impressed with his team’s capacity to run three World Rally Cars on such diverse events simultaneously.
“For Vosges and for Finland, a win is always a win and I’m happy for my people to enjoy that. To organise three rallies in three different places, I’m asking a lot – this is why I hug my people,” he said.
“Of course, I am happy for the win in Italy, nothing gels a team together like a win. I know I’m asking a lot of people in the team, I know a lot of people have had to sacrifice their holidays this summer and I feel guilty, but very grateful for this.”
Adamo was quick to point out that Huttunen was testing the car, rather than the team testing him for his suitability for a third seat in the works team at August’s Neste Rally Finland.
“We use him because he is a guest driver and not a P1 driver,” he said. “Twice now, on separate rallies, he has tested the car and tested parts for us. He’s checking the reliability on parts.”
For Loeb it was a case of dialling the Frenchman into the i20’s asphalt set-up.
“In Vosges, we just try to get him more and more linked to the car on Tarmac. It was a bit of a surprise for me, but between the different surfaces, Tarmac was the most difficult for him. But we don’t say: ‘Ah ok it’s like that’. Instead we say: ‘OK what can we do?’ ”
Huttunen won all nine stages to take victory on the Finnish Championship round, while Loeb was unbeaten on all 10 tests to win in Alsace.