WRC i20 gets to finish line, on beer!Comment on this story
Leon, Mexico - This story from the recent Rally Guanajuato Mexico is sure to warm the hearts of anyone who loves both cars and beer…
Seems that when Hyundai's top WRC driver Thierry Neuville - who doesn't drink - finished the 22nd and final stage of the rally, the aptly named flat-out Power Stage, he was presented with a magnum-sized bottle of beer by a scantily-clad lovely representing rally sponsor Corona, for finishing third in the rally and giving Hyundai its first WRC podium.
Rather than waste the contents spraying it over the spectators, however, he stashed it in the i20 to take back to his technical crew.
But what he didn't know was that the Hyundai had sprung a radiator leak on the Power Stage.
Less than four kilometres down the 33km liaison section to the final service area and the formal finish line at Leon, the Hyundai's temperature gauge was into the red and “I realised we had a problem; it was very stressful”.
However, rally drivers are nothing if not resourceful (it's in the job description) and, in a move that would have made MacGyver proud, he and navigator Nicholas Gilsoul pulled over, dropped the Hyundai's front bumper so they could see what they were doing, found the leak and plugged it.
But the i20 had lost most of its coolant and a dusty dirt road, 29km from nowhere in one of Mexico's driest provinces, is no place to look for water.
So they topped up the radiator with the sponsor's product.
Three kilometres further the battered Hyundai boiled again, so they stopped again to refill the system with more Corona coolant.
“After we stopped again the temperature came down,” Neuville later told WRC.com, “and then I thought it would be OK.”
And they drove as gently as possible without stopping again to the finish, where they arrived in time to take part in the official podium ceremony for the first time, after only Hyundai's third world championship rally - and that's worth a litre and a half of lager, isn't it?