Hyundai enrols Corsica big guns
A trio of asphalt heavyweights boasting seven Corsica victories bids to put Hyundai Motorsport’s WRC title challenge back on course on the Mediterranean island this week.
The Korean squad has called in its sealed surface specialists for Corsica linea - Tour de Corse (28 - 31 March) after lacklustre results in Mexico earlier this month sent it sliding to third in the manufacturers’ standings.
Sébastien Loeb (above), the sport’s most successful driver with nine world titles to his name, heads Hyundai’s Corsica roll of honour. He scored four consecutive wins from 2005 to 2008.
Thierry Neuville, who trails leader Ott Tänak by 10 points in the drivers’ series, won the rally two years ago. He also scored an Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) success in 2011. Spain’s Dani Sordo scored an IRC triumph the following year.
Last season’s appearance with Citroën was Loeb’s first Corsica outing since 2008, but the Frenchman retains an appetite for the tricky mountain roads.
“It’s a wonderful place for rallying and as the French round of the championship, it’s a very special atmosphere for me. An extremely technical rally, there are many different types of road with some bumpy places and some fast sections. In fact, it seems to get faster each year.
“It’s tricky to find the right rhythm throughout each stage, and the weather can also play an influential factor – sometimes raining in the mountains but drier close to the coast,” he said.
Team director Andrea Adamo acknowledged only two podiums and no wins from the opening three rounds was not ideal, but hoped Corsica would bring a change in fortune.
“The start of the season may not have delivered the results we are here to fight for, but there have been positives that give us cause for optimism,” he said.
“As a team, tarmac performance was an area on which we focused considerably last season, with improvements throughout the season.”
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