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Hyundai i20 R5 crews stood on two steps of the 2019 Monza Rally Show podium. WRC driver Dani Sordo finished second overall, just ahead of Italian Andrea Nucita, whose superb third place secured the top prize in the Hyundai i20 R5 Trophy for customer teams at the event.
Nucita’s excellent performance put him among the official Hyundai Motorsport entered drivers – Sordo, Andreas Mikkelsen and Craig Breen – from the start. All were competing for overall victory in the R5 class, which for 2019 formed the premier category at the Monza weekend.
In the final standings five Hyundai cars were among the top ten overall, proof of both the power of the 1.6-litre engine on the famously long Monza straights, but also the handling and balance through the tight, technical chicanes and hairpins that form a major part of the show’s stages.
In a Bernini Rally-run car Nucita was the fastest of the seven i20 R5 customers competing in the Trophy event. He and co-driver Mattia Nicastri finished the opening day’s running in second overall – one spot ahead of Sordo. The pair swapped positions throughout Saturday’s stages, Sordo holding the overall lead after SS5 before reaching the overnight halt in second place.
The Hyundai battle continued into the two tests to close the rally on Sunday. Mikkelsen took the fastest time on the penultimate stage, while Sordo maintained second ahead of Nucita in the overall standings, despite the latter being given a five second penalty overnight for clipping one of the chicane markers.
The top crews held their places through the short final stage for Sordo and Nucita to make sure of their positions on the podium. Breen completed the top five overall, with Mikkelsen sixth in his first event with the i20 R5.
For victory in the Trophy Nucita took the top prize of €10.000. Ninth overall, second place within the Trophy and €5.000 went to Andrea Mabellini in another of the four Bernini prepared Hyundai on show. He and co-driver Virginia Lenzi completed their weekend with best time of the i20 R5 runners on the final stage.
Third place among the Hyundai customers, in only his second competitive outing in an R5 car, went to Josh McErlean on his Monza Rally Show debut. Drivers Davide Riccio and Massimo Brega – completing the Bernini Rally quartet – finished fourth and fifth to be rewarded with four tyres from Pirelli, who partnered with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing for the weekend.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Senior Sales Associate Andrew Johns said:
“Once again the Hyundai i20 R5 Trophy at the Monza Rally Show was a huge success, and a very competitive affair for all the crews involved. Nucita was incredibly fast throughout the weekend, and richly deserves the prize for victory. In such a large and competitive R5 field to finish with five i20 R5 among the top places is really good to see, especially in such a mix of customer cars and our WRC drivers. A key aim of the i20 R5 project has always been to have a car which anyone can get the best from, and the final results this weekend are resounding evidence of a target achieved.”
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