Thierry Neuville secured victory at the EKO Acropolis Rally Greece on Sunday afternoon to crown Hyundai's best-ever WRC result with all three first places in the rally. The Belgian driver took first place early on Saturday after nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb retired with an alternator failure.
From that moment on, he never looked back. Neuville's Hyundai team came out of the penultimate day without any mistakes or breakdowns, while several of the favorites ran into problems. Thus, Neuville carried an advantage of almost half a minute over team-mate Otto Tänak into Sunday's final, and Dani Sordo concluded Hyundai's great success by finishing third on the podium.
“It has been a tough season so far and to get the victory after a very difficult weekend in Belgium is a relief,” Neuville said. “The most important thing is that we have a 1-2-3 for the team. After all these years we finally got it and it's a historical moment for the brand and the team.
Everybody has worked hard for this and it's a nice reward." Tänak made up 2.9 seconds after first passing the Elefthori speed test, but any hopes of the Estonian putting more pressure on his team-mate were dashed when orders from the Hyundai team took effect.
Fourth-placed Elfyn Evans, driving a Toyota GR Yaris, had turbo problems at the start of the final day of the rally, which left the leading three with a large advantage and the possibility of a relaxed finish to the rally.
The WRC continues later this month at Rally New Zealand, which will be the 11th of a total of 13 rallies this season. This gravel rally is back on the WRC calendar for the first time since 2012 and will run from 29 September to 2 October.
2022 FIA WRC team standings after 10 rallies:
- Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team - 404 points
- Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team - 341
- M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 214
- Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team NG - 112
- 2022 WRC driver standings after 10 rallies:
Rovanpera - 207 points
- O. Tänak - 154
- T. Neuville - 131
- E. Evans - 116
- T. Katsuta - 100
- C. Breen - 77
- E. Lappi - 58
- D. Sordo - 49
- Mr. Greensmith - 36
- S. Loeb - 35