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Hyundai wants to return on the podium at Croatia Rally

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As the first pure tarmac event of the year, Croatia is an opportunity for the team to compare the performance of the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid on the surface to its rivals. Special livery will honour Craig Breen

Following a rollercoaster weekend in Kenya, Hyundai Motorsport is looking to bounce back emphatically at Croatia Rally (April 18-21), the fourth round of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
 
With a constantly changing surface and a variety of features not typically found at a tarmac rally, Croatia provides a unique challenge for crews. Crests, jumps and blind corners must be navigated precisely, while a road surface that can go from slippery to broken seemingly without warning adds to the peril. In previous years, adverse weather conditions have also played a role, transforming the roads from unpredictable to treacherous. Torrential rain is often seen at the event and has the potential to turn the running order on its head at any moment.
 
Three crews will be representing Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team at Croatia Rally: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe and Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja will compete alongside the returning Norwegian duo of Andreas Mikkelsen/Torstein Eriksen. The team’s Belgian and Estonian pairings have enjoyed previous success at the event, having each scored two podiums on the Croatian roads.

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Andreas Mikkelsen is ready to return in his Rally1 office

The primary goal, however, for Neuville and Wydaeghe will be to further extend their leads in the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships. Despite finishing fifth overall at the previous round in Kenya, they were the second-highest points scorers at the event, taking advantage of the new Super Sunday points system and Power Stage bonuses to increase the margin at the top of the standings to six points.
 
Croatia Rally marks one year since the tragic passing of Hyundai Motorsport driver, friend and colleague Craig Breen, who lost his life during testing for the 2023 edition of the event. This year, the team will honour him by adorning the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid with an Irish flag on both the roof and the bumper, as well as donating items to an auction in his name, with all proceeds going to the Craig Breen Foundation. The auction will be live from 09:00 (CEST) on 16 April to 21:00 (CEST) on 23 April and is accessible via the following link: https://app.galabid.com/cbf24/items.
 
Hyundai Motorsport President and Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “Croatia Rally is the first full tarmac event of the year, but after a milder Rallye Monte-Carlo, we have already had a taste of how the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid can perform on this surface. We have seen success here in the past; we know both Thierry and Ott can put a car on the podium in Croatia, and with Andreas’ capabilities on tarmac, we believe he can also score good points next week. It is of course emotional coming to this event following the loss of Craig one year ago, but we want to honour him on our return and have tried to do so through both our charitable efforts and the addition of the Irish flag on our car. For both championships, and for Craig, we want to finish as close to the top step as possible – a win would be a fitting end to the weekend.”