Hyundai Motorsport boss Michel Nandan has called on his team to refocus efforts on scoring points when the championship enters a critical stage at Orlen 74th Rally Poland [29 June - 2 July].
After seven of the season's 13 rounds, Hyundai lies second in the manufacturers' standings, 40 points adrift of leaders M-Sport. The gap between them widened at the last round in Sardinia, where Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon crashed out of the lead.
Having secured top-three finishes at every gravel event so far this year, Nandan acknowledged that his team's i20 Coupe was a proven package on the loose. But he said the team would need to produce better combined results if it was to challenge for the title.
Nandan said: “We know our car is well suited to gravel but now will be the first true test at higher speeds. Our target is very much on the championship battle, which is intensifying with each event. We need to ensure a strong team result at all rallies if we are to take the fight to M-Sport.
"That means we need to work with all three of our crews to help them to get the best out of their cars, and indeed themselves on each stage.”
The team has a decent track record in Poland with top three finishes in 2014 for Thierry Neuville and again last season with Paddon.
Neuville heads to Poland hoping to extend a run of five consecutive podiums. Holding second in the drivers' championship after seven rounds, the Belgian is 18 points behind Sébastien Ogier and agreed that every rally from now would be crucial.
Neuville said: “We know that we have a job to do and we want to continue to press as hard as we can to stay in the championship hunt. We are now into the latter stages of the season, so this is where every moment and every decision matters.”
This week Neuville joined team-mates Paddon and Dani Sordo for a pre-event test in Lithuania.