The boss of Hyundai Motorsport rates his team’s second and third place finish at Rally Italia Sardegna more highly than its 1-2 in Germany last year.
Hayden Paddon bagged a career-best second place in Sardinia at the weekend, while Hyundai’s team-leader Thierry Neuville drove his i20 World Rally Car to third.
Team principal Michel Nandan said both places had been hard-fought, and meant more than the team’s 1-2 at ADAC Rally-Deutschland that had owed so much to the misfortune of others.
“Our 1-2 in Germany will always be a win, and a great result, but it was in very special circumstances and for me this second and third place is more important - even if normally it shouldn’t be,” he told wrc.com.
“Just about everybody on the rally had problems, including Hayden, but his second place is a proper podium. Thierry also had some trouble but he managed to fix it and bring the car back. I think it’s the first time we have had a ‘proper’ podium result with two cars.”
Nandan was especially proud of Paddon’s performance, and felt it proved his ability.
He said: “I think on this rally Hayden showed everything. Of course we have to say that his road position was quite a big help, but during the second passage in general the difference was less yet and he was able to keep the pace.
“He made proper pace notes, made no mistakes and was able to handle the pressure. It just confirms that he’s not only fast, but can be consistent too.”
Paddon: Italy result was no one-off
Kiwi targets more WRC podiums later in the season
Ogier's warning to championship rivals
No let-up from Frenchman in title tilt