Araújo begins title defence on the pace in Portugal
Armindo Araújo began the defence of his Portuguese national championship title at the Rali Serras de Fafe (February 22-23). The undisputed star of the rally proved to be Dani Sordo. The WRC driver made a guest appearance in a Hyundai Motorsport run i20 R5, winning all but one stage to take the overall victory by over a minute. However, Araújo was on the pace throughout the event also. He and co-driver Luís Ramalho picked up the only top time not claimed by Sordo and were second fastest on another three occasions. Unfortunately, the pair suffered a minor issue on the Saturday morning, dropping them out of the top-five overall to finish seventh overall.
The result put them one place behind their new Hyundai Team Portugal teammates Bruno Magalhães and Hugo Magalhães. Making their competitive debut in the i20 R5 the pair was in the top-ten on every stage on an extremely competitive rally that featured 29 R5 entrants. They missed out on a debut top-five by only 2.7 seconds.
Hyundai customers were also represented by two Racing 4 You crews, with drivers Paulo Meireles and Manuel Castro. Meireles finished 11th overall, while Castro completed the event in 14th place.