Thursday | 28 Jan 2016

Hyundai graft continues after i20 debut podium

Hyundai boss Michel Nandan has pledged to continue the hard work on his team’s new i20 World Rally Car following Thierry Neuville’s debut podium at Rallye Monte-Carlo last weekend.

The Belgian finished an encouraging third on the 2016 season opener after a strong final two legs compensated for set-up uncertainties during the first two days. Nandan insisted the German squad would continue its aggressive development.

“Before the event I would have signed for a podium immediately, of course,” he told “The first day we were a bit, I would not say lost, but our set-up was not really proper and that was due to the conditions.

“We changed things on Saturday and Sunday and saw it worked better. Now we have to see a normal rally situation when everyone is fighting where we are, because when we had the set-up better the positions were a bit fixed at the front and our drivers didn’t want to risk too much.

“But we know the car has good potential. Now we need a bit of work on it to know which set-up suits which conditions, but we have to do it quickly because the championship isn’t so long.”

Hyundai, which will partner Hayden Paddon with Neuville in its lead squad for Rally Sweden (11 - 14 February), will test in the snow for two days before the rally to finalise the set-up on which it settled in pre-Christmas work. That will be followed by a gravel test ahead of Rally Guanajuato Mexico (3 - 6 March).

“Knowing the pace is good and the potential is there is a good step. At least you know nothing is really wrong on the car and just by doing some more specific tests it can be improved,” added Nandan.

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