Hyundai Motorsport boss Michel Nandan hopes both Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville will rejoin Rally Argentina on Saturday following their retirements today.
Both the team’s i20 World Rally Cars developed engine problems on Friday’s final stage, and the drivers were instructed to stop to prevent further damage.
Sordo’s car had a turbo issue in the morning loop and was first to go - the Spaniard pulling over one kilometre into the 51km test from Ascochinga. Neuville hit trouble soon after.
“Unlike many of the teams here, our problems had nothing to do with the rough condition of the roads,” Nandan told wrc.com.
“On the first loop, the connection between the turbocharger and intercooler on Dani’s car was leaking and he could not fix it. The engine also lost a bit of oil, due to the turbo problem. In service we put back some oil and everything was fine on SS4. Then, on the last stage, he had some engine alarms, some loss of power. He could still drive but we prefer to stop. It looks like a different problem to the one he had before, but we won’t know for sure until the car gets back.”
“Then Thierry reported that his engine was not pulling anymore. We let him continue a bit, in case it was just a little problem, but while he was driving he couldn’t give us good information so we preferred to stop the car. Better to get it back and have a look carefully. I hope we can fix both cars and go back tomorrow.”
Despite the setbacks, Nandan believes there are already positives to be taken from the rally.
“Okay, we are here to do some testing during the rallies, so it’s not a big drama - it’s part of the game. We have some problems, but I’d prefer to have them this year so we can sort them out rather than next year.
“Overall I believe it has been a positive day. Apart from the last stage, Thierry did well. We asked him to be careful, but even then he was able to do some good times compared to the other guys. We are positive about the performance of the car, and we know that we have still a lot to do and we can still improve.”