Hyundai boss Michel Nandan is confident his team has resolved the suspension failure that caused Dani Sordo’s test crash and ruled him out of this week’s Neste Rally Finland (28 - 31 July).
The Spaniard suffered a fractured vertebra earlier this month after his i20 World Rally Car smashed into a rock when the suspension failed on landing following a jump.
The accident halted the squad’s pre-event test which was finally completed last weekend without any further issues, and Nandan is sure there will be no problems on the roller-coaster jumps during the rally itself.
“We have been carrying out our rescheduled pre-event testing since last Friday to finalise our preparations before the rally gets under way. We already identified the cause of Dani’s crash and have taken all necessary steps to ensure we don’t see a repeat of that issue,” he said.
The team is hunting its first Finland podium to follow Hayden Paddon’s third place in Poland at the start of the month.
“We want to get the second half of the 2016 season started in the same way we finished the first half - on the podium. We’ve had some decent performances in Finland in the past two seasons but we’ve not yet cracked the top-three, so that’s our target this weekend,” added Nandan.
Sordo is expected to return to action at ADAC Rallye Deutschland (18 - 21 August) and his absence hands Kevin Abbring his third WRC outing this season. It will be his first rally in a 2016-specification car and his first time in a World Rally Car on the fastest roads in the WRC.
“We’re obviously really excited for it, but we know that it’s a tall order. Rally Finland is just special, the roads are really fast and the fans are passionate about rallying. It has such an amazing atmosphere,” said the Dutchman.