Thierry Neuville headed team-mate Ott Tanak, competing in his remaining outing for the producer, to clinch victory as Japan returned to the WRC schedule for the primary time in 12 years.
Neuville had been locked in a combat with Toyota’s Elfyn Evans for almost all of the rally earlier than the latter picked up a puncture on Sunday morning, which allowed Hyundai to finish a memorable 1-2 end.
Toyota has led the way in which on this 12 months’s championship profitable seven rallies to assert the producers’ crown, whereas Kalle Rovanpera secured the drivers’ title, turning into the youngest ever world champion.
Nevertheless, after a primary half of the season affected by reliability points stemming from a late dedication to the brand new Rally1 hybrid guidelines, Hyundai has now received 5 rallies this 12 months, eclipsing essentially the most wins in a single WRC season for the marque to additional define the group’s spectacular turnaround within the second half of the marketing campaign.
It has additionally managed to beat Toyota at each of its residence occasions in Finland, the place the rally group is predicated, and now in Japan.
“What a turnaround,” Moncet informed Autosport.
“You keep in mind the disastrous scenario we have been in, in Monte Carlo and to be right here now with a double podium on Toyota’s residence soil in Japan, which is an additional motivation for us, is clearly unimaginable.
Podium: Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Workforce Hyundai i20 N Rally1
Photograph by: Purple Bull Content material Pool
“We’ve got received 5 races and have had 16 podiums and the triple podium in Greece. Sure we haven’t received each championships, which is all the time our goal and the explanation we’re competing in rallying however, contemplating the beginning of the season, we will be proud.
“We’ve got combined emotions because it has been our most profitable season however we received nothing. Considering 10 or 11 months again, to win one race it will have been inconceivable. I believe we have now to be pleased with what we have now achieved.”
Neuville admitted it was an important feeling to win in Toyota’s yard however believes there may be far more to come back from the Hyundai package deal subsequent 12 months.
“It’s nice to win right here as a result of it’s the Toyota homeland after all however additionally it is nice to win right here as a result of it’s the final spherical of the season, and now there’s a two-month break, so it’s all the time good to go away with a win,” Neuville informed Autosport.
“I believe we have now had a very good turnaround however I additionally suppose that there’s extra in it which we are able to take from the group. If we are able to get every thing working completely collectively we might be even stronger.”
Hyundai is about to disclose a brand new look 2023 driver line-up this week with Esapekka Lappi anticipated to exchange Tanak.
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