Ever since the South Korean manufacturer joined the World Rally Championship back in 2014, it driver line-ups have struggled to get a foothold on the gravel classic.

Prior to this their eighth visit to Rally Finland – which was pushed back to an Autumn date this year so that spectators would be allowed to attend in line with relaxed COVID restrictions in the Scandanavian country – many expected Toyota to run away with the podium places, but that was not the case.

Ott Tanak and Craig Breen both led round ten of the World Rally Championship at the wheel of their respective i20 Coupe World Rally Cars but eventually had to give way to Elfyn Evans whose margin of victory was only 14.1 seconds.

Both were satisfied with their performances over the course of the three-days, which ended with Tanak scoring four extra points on the closing power stage and Breen one bonus point.

Team Principal Andrea Adamo also took comfort from the fact that, over the course of the event’s 19 special stages, Hyundai won almost half of these.

“We have come to Finland, a rally where we have never been competitive, where we have always struggled, and we have fought for the win right until the end,” said Adamo.

“It’s thanks to the entire team package: our drivers, co-drivers, engineers, mechanics, have worked really hard. I don’t think anyone was expecting us to be so close to the win, with two cars in the podium positions.

“It might be another occasion where we are not winning but we have never stopped believing in our capabilities and this result is testament to that,” he added.

Tanak feels getting two Hyundai-run cars in the top three places bodes well moving forward into next year when the World Rally Championship adopts hybrid-powered ‘Rally1’ cars.

“It has been great fun to be competing in Rally Finland, the first time for me on these roads with this car,” said the one-time champion.

“Hyundai didn’t have a great track record in this event in previous years, however this weekend we were fighting for stage wins and for victory for most of the event.

“We almost made it, but we know what we can achieve now. Coming back next year – admittedly with a new concept of car – we will try to go one better.”