Saturday | 16 Apr 2022

Moncet: Season break has helped us improve

Hyundai Motorsport has made good use of the eight-week gap in the FIA World Rally Championship to go into next week’s Croatia Rally with renewed confidence, according to deputy team director Julien Moncet.

Late starting the development of its hybrid-powered i20 N, the Korean manufacturer endured a torrid opening round at Rallye Monte-Carlo before Thierry Neuville started the ball rolling with second place at Rally Sweden in February.

The team trails in third place in the manufacturers’ standings but has been pushing hard to gain ground on leader Toyota Gazoo Racing and M-Sport Ford.

“The two-month break since Rally Sweden has been helpful,” said Moncet. “It has given us the time to regroup and reset before we begin the next phase of the season.

“The podium finish we secured with Thierry and Martijn [Wydaeghe] at the previous round was a positive step forward for us as we continue to get to grips with the new hybrid regulations.”

Video: Croatia Rally preview

The Croatia Rally (21 - 24 April) will run on asphalt stages not entirely dissimilar to Monte-Carlo where only one i20 N finished

The Alzenau-based team has worked on chassis set-up but hasn’t introduced any new parts to the car. Moncet is confident in the work done on the asphalt-specification i20 since January.

He added: “We made some good progress in terms of set-up and car behaviour from what we had in Monte Carlo, I think all the drivers could notice improvements at the pre-event test. Will it be enough to catch up to the others? We have to wait and see.”

• Full coverage from the Croatia Rally will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park

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