Wednesday | 30 Sep 2015

Hyundai counts on winning touch

Previous winners Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo could hold the key for Hyundai as it seeks to tighten its grip on second place in the WRC manufacturers’ championship at Tour de Corse - Rallye de France (1 - 4 October).

The event returns to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time since 2008 and while most leading drivers have little recent experience of the demanding asphalt mountain roads, Hyundai is the exception.

Neuville won in 2011 and Sordo took the honours 12 months later when the event was an Intercontinental Rally Challenge fixture. Although the 2015 itinerary is very different, knowledge of the character of the roads should help both adapt more easily.

“I have some great memories there as I won my first international rally in Corsica in 2011,” said Neuville. “I have really been looking forward to going back, even if this year the routes have changed quite a lot so everything will be new for me.

“I know it is going to be a tough one with the stages mostly in the mountains. The roads are tricky and can be very narrow, bumpy and broken so we will have to be careful to avoid punctures as well.”

Sordo is the most experienced driver, having tackled the event six times, and the Spaniard has WRC podiums from 2006 and 2007.

“I have a lot of good memories of Corsica, I have had some good results there and have learned many skills there. This year it will be completely new, so it will be important to recce the stages carefully and make sure we produce accurate pace notes.

“It is a classic rally and very technical so you have to be precise in your positioning of the car. It is not so fast as the roads are narrow and twisty. It is steep and there is an element of danger, the roads have sharp cliff-drops on one side so it is important you drive with accuracy,” explained Sordo.

Volkswagen clinched the manufacturers’ title at the previous round in Australia but Hyundai heads a three-way fight for second with three rounds remaining. It heads Citroën by 13 points, with M-Sport a further 16 points back.

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