Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul claim Hyundai’s second WRC win for 2018
Hyundai Motorsport has taken a dominant victory in the Rally de Portugal, the sixth round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul won by a margin of 40 seconds in the Number 5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, maintaining Hyundai’s lead in the constructors’ championship and Neuville’s lead in the drivers’ championships. Hyundai vehicles are available in Qatar at Skyline Automotive W.L.L., the official distribution partner for the Hyundai Motor Company in Qatar.
With many competitors experiencing issues during the event, Neuville’s level-headed and measured performance earned him an eighth WRC career win and his second of the year so far. It is the ninth in total for Hyundai Motorsport and its second for 2018 after Neuville also achieved the fastest time in Sweden in February.
“We have taken a clever approach to this event, pushing when we could and controlling the pace when we needed,” Thierry Neuville said.
“The car has been fabulous all weekend long, and the team has been behind us every stage of the way. I have felt completely comfortable and at ease despite some challenging conditions. My teammates have also been on the pace but were unlucky not to be on the podium. We tried to give it a bit of a push in the Power Stage, to take as many points as we could, but also taking care not to make any mistakes.”
Teammate Dani Sordo finished in fifth position having fought valiantly for a third gravel podium of the season, along with co-driver Carlos del Barrio. Andreas Mikkelsen, who had re-joined under Rally 2 on Saturday after technical issues forced him to stop on Friday afternoon, continued to fight to the finish. The Norwegian and compatriot co-driver Anders Jæger picked up valuable points for the team’s championship efforts.
“It has been a very competitive weekend for our team and I am delighted to take our first Rally de Portugal victory,” Team Principal Michel Nandan commented. “Thierry and Nicolas, in particular, have put in a classy performance on all days. They have had a clean drive with excellent pace that has allowed them to control things from beginning to end.”
Hyundai Motorsport continues to lead the manufacturers’ table on 175 points but with a slightly reduced advantage over M-Sport Ford on 162. Neuville’s result sees him jump to the top of the drivers’ table on 119 points ahead of Sébastien Ogier, who did not score this weekend, on 100.
The 2018 WRC season continues with Rally Italia Sardegna from 7-10 June