Sunday, August 31, 2014
Michelin Claims First FIA WRC Win with Hyundai Motorsports
The ADAC Rallye Deutschland, round nine of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), ended on Sunday, August 24, with the first win – and first one-two finish! – for Hyundai Motorsport in rallying’s showcase series.
It was also the first world class success for Michelin in association with its Korean partner, the rallying department of which is based in Alzenau, Germany. After the promising third-place finishes they secured earlier in the year in Mexico and Poland, Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul put the Number 7 Hyundai i20 WRC on the highest step of the podium in Germany, followed in the order by Dani Sordo and Marc Marti in the Number 8 sister car. Both Hyundai Motorsport crews survived what turned out to be a particularly taxing and drama-filled event. The Belgian pair produced a mature performance to claim their first WRC victory, while Dani Sordo provided another example of his speed on asphalt.
The 2014 Rallye Deutschland took place in fickle weather and cool, autumn-like temperatures. Indeed, the delicate conditions and tricky stages caught out a high number of front-runners, resulting in some dramatic changes to the leaderboard.
The changeable weather meant that both hard- and soft-compound tyres were used at different times depending on the teams’ respective strategies. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport H2 (hard) was the preferred choice for Friday’s dry roads, but the softer S2 version was the chief option for the remainder of the rally, including for the visits to the notoriously punishing Panzerplatte test.