Hyundai Motorsport is leading the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship after its last-minute victory in the Tour de Corse. Hyundai claimed victory in round four of the 2019 WRC season on Sunday, after a dramatic change of leader in the very last stage handed the win to Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul.
The Belgian duo looked set for a second-place finish going into the final stage, trailing 11 seconds behind Ford M-Sport driver Elfyn Evans. However, in one final change of fortune, a puncture slowed Evans down mid-stage, handing victory to the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team crew.
The team has now moved back to the top of the championship standings on 114 points, 12 clear of its nearest rivals Citroën. Two extra points in the Power Stage have given Neuville a two-point lead in the drivers’ table.
“What an incredible rally and a fantastic result,” said Thierry Neuville. “I would like to extend my thoughts to Elfyn and Scott; I am really disappointed for them. It had been a great battle and they were undoubtedly the quicker crew this weekend. We didn’t really know what had happened until we saw our mechanics at the end. I pushed hard in the Power Stage and the points we’ve scored this weekend are hugely important for the championship.”
The result marks Hyundai Motorsport’s 11th victory in WRC, its second Tour de Corse triumph, and the team’s first win of the 2019 season.
Spaniards Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio finished the 14-stage event in fourth place to add valuable points to Hyundai Motorsport’s manufacturers’ totals. All three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC crews completed the gruelling Corsican tarmac event with Sébastien Loeb in eighth place, having lost two minutes of time on the rally’s opening stage on Friday.