Hyundai: "Destroying so many things" in Kenya led to historic WRC 1-2-3

The reaction from “destroying so many things” during a disastrous Safari Rally Kenya paved the way for Hyundai’s historic maiden World Rally Championship 1-2-3, according to the team.

Hyundai: "Destroying so many things" in Kenya led to historic WRC 1-2-3
Listen to this article

Hyundai has been forced to play catch-up to its rivals this season following a late decision to commit to the WRC's new-for-2022 Rally1 hybrid regulations.

The squad was further hampered by an upheaval of its structure following Andrea Adamo's decision to leave the team principal role for personal reasons in December last year.

The delay in developing the i20 N left the team on the back foot, with its frailties highlighted by several reliability issues that plagued the first half of the campaign.

However, since then, Hyundai has gone on to score four wins, matching its best-ever season win total, equalling the quartet of victories secured in 2017 and 2019, the latter yielding the manufacturers' title.

Ott Tanak has led the team's charge with wins in Sardinia, Finland and Belgium before Neuville led home Tanak and Dani Sordo at this weekend's notoriously brutal Acropolis Rally Greece to crown an impressive turnaround.

Speaking following the triumph, Hyundai deputy team director Julien Moncet admitted that "nobody would have put a single euro on the team at the start of the year" such was the situation it was facing.

Reflecting on the history-making result, Moncet believes the suffering it went through in Kenya in June, where it encountered several reliability issues, was the key to achieving the result in Greece.

Julien Moncet, Deputy Team Director & Powertrain Manager, Hyundai World Rally Team

Julien Moncet, Deputy Team Director & Powertrain Manager, Hyundai World Rally Team

Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

"At the start we were not organised, we were not quick and we had reliability issue after reliability issue - for sure, we were not the favourite and not even challengers in Monte Carlo," Moncet told Motorsport.com

"We started to wake up and improve in Croatia, Portugal and Sardinia. But then in Kenya again we were nowhere and I think that event was so hard for us and we destroyed so many things, and we had so many issues, that we have learned a lot.

"We had it in our mind that after we came back from Kenya to prepare for the next tough rally which was Greece. So maybe from our misfortune we made our luck here."

Despite the reliability issues and internal struggles within the organisation regarding its leadership, Moncet said he never lost faith in his team to turn around its form following a difficult start to the WRC's Rally1 era.

"Basically the team is the same as before," he added. "We have been able to win in the past and there is no reason we couldn't do it again.

"Of course we were super late at the start [with the car]. The question was not if we would be able to but when [we could recover] because everyone was working hard.

"Once we managed to get through the reliability issues, which was our most critical weakness at the start of the season, we then started working on performance and then here we are now.

"Honestly, it is a surprise that it has come that early and to score three wins in a row is incredible.

"For sure, the performance of the car is good but if you look at what our strength was this weekend, it was reliability.

"We had not so much in terms of issues at such a tough place like Greece and that made the difference."

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Tanak critical of Hyundai WRC team orders that denied “fair fight”
Previous article

Tanak critical of Hyundai WRC team orders that denied “fair fight”

Next article

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Prime

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier.

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Prime

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Prime

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Prime

Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers is no less demanding. We got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Prime

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Prime

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Prime

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Prime

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Motorsport.com was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success.

WRC
Aug 19, 2022