Monday | 16 Mar 2015

Neuville hungers for more power

Thierry Neuville believes engine modifications introduced at Rally Guanajuato Mexico gave his Hyundai i20 World Rally Car a modest power increase - but still not enough to challenge the championship leading Volkswagens.

Neuville won four stages and claimed third place on the Power Stage in Mexico in a car fitted with an upgraded fuel injection system. The sister cars of Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon were also fitted with the new components.

But after the event, Neuville downplayed the significance of the changes, claiming his car was still a lot less powerful than the Polo R.

“It’s positive and we have some improvement, but it doesn’t really help. We are probably missing more than 15hp and we got one or two more, so there’s still a lot left,” he told

Neuville believes the conditions in Mexico and Sweden flattered the performance of the i20 WRC and helped him take the stage wins.

“We have seen when the traction is quite low and the power is not so necessary we are pretty fast,” he explained. “In Mexico it was like that on the first day. On twisty roads we were also quite good. But after that it was much more difficult to do the same times as Ogier. He beat us by 5.8sec on the Power Stage - and that shows me we are far from the pace.”

Hyundai will introduce a new car with a new engine later this season. Until then, Neuville said he would keep his targets realistic. “I think a podium in Argentina is achievable. Anything else will be difficult because I have to take too many risks. I have to keep it on the road.”

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