Hyundai Motorsport will get to keep its Rally Italy victory despite an investigation into the legality of its four World Rally Cars, with the team being fined for the rear subframe on Dani Sordo’s car being underweight.
Sordo led a one-two finish for Hyundai in Sardinia ahead of team-mate Thierry Neuville, but all four factory Hyundai i20 Coupe WRCs were held by stewards in parc ferme for further scrutiny after the finish.
While Neuville, Ott Tänak and junior driver Pierre-Louis Loubet’s cars were all later cleared, the rear subframe on Sordo’s car was found to be 24.5 grams lighter than its homologated weight, something the team put down to a “quality control checking error”.
“The weight of the rear subframe is not complying with the minimum weight as shown on the homologation form (rear subframe homologated weight is 9323g, with tolerance of +5%/-2%, minimum weight is 9136.5g). The weight of the part was 9112 g,” read a decision from the Rally Italy stewards.
Hyundai was found to be in breach of Article 10.3.3 of the FIA International Sporting Code but, despite being underweight, the stewards levied a fine of €30,000 on Sordo’s team.
€20,000 of that fine is suspended for 12 months, subject to not committing a similar offence on any WRC event in that period.
Article 10.3.3 relates to vehicles being required to match their homologation documents, indicating that while the rear subframe component of Sordo’s car was underweight, the car as a whole was not in breach of minimum car weight rules.
As the stewards assessed the fault to be due to a quality control error, Sordo’s final time and position on the event is unaffected, ensuring his third WRC win remains intact.
“Mr Adamo agreed the weight of the part was under the homologated acceptance and that the scrutineering and weight procedure was carried out correctly,” continued the steward’s decision.
“He then explained that this was a quality control checking error and at no point was any sporting advantage tried to be achieved.
“The rear subframe that was on car no.6 [Sordo] on Saturday was also checked and complied with the homologated weight.
“Mr Adamo apologised for their lapse in the checking of the weight.”