Nandan rues missed opportunity

Hyundai team boss Michel Nandan is aiming for a rapid turnaround of fortunes after Rally Sweden where Thierry Neuville lost a second chance of victory in circumstances he said "shouldn't happen."

For the second rally in a row, Nandan watched his team's chances of victory disappear when long-time rally leader Neuville went off in Saturday's final stage.

The Belgian had built up a 43-second lead but crashed at the Karlstad Super Special, breaking the steering on his i20 Coupe. Neuville rejoined for the final day and salvaged three points in the Power Stage, but it was little consolation for Nandan.

“It’s easy to say that this is rallying, however when you have a 43-second lead these things shouldn’t happen in a super special stage," he said.

"It’s disappointing for everyone in the team, and of course for Thierry and [his co-driver] Nicolas after what had been another commanding performance. Until that final stage, they had done everything right."

Nandan hopes his team will put the misery of the two opening rounds behind it when the championship resumes at Rally Guanajuato México [9 - 12 March].

“I am sure we will look back on these two opening rounds of the season as character-building for our team," he said.

"We have crews who have all shown their ability to fight for stage wins, we have a car that has demonstrated its potential to win WRC events, and we have the fighting spirit we need to succeed. The pieces of the puzzle are there, we just need a turnaround in fortunes – hopefully that will start in Mexico."

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