Friday | 04 Jul 2014

Poland success raises Hyundai expectations

Hyundai Motorsport team principal, Michel Nandan, believes the i20 WRC is beginning to show the kind of speed that could turn it into a rally winner before the end of the 2014 season.

Last week’s Lotos 71st Rally Poland was the Korean manufacturer’s strongest event in its debut season. Thierry Neuville finished third overall, all three of the team’s cars completed an event for the first time without the help of Rally 2 and the i20 WRC claimed a brace of fastest stage times.

Paddon, Neuville and Hanninen all reached the finish at Rally Poland

Nandan has been buoyed by his team’s gradual performance increase in recent weeks and is optimistic that even greater success could be just around the corner.

When asked if the i20 WRC has the potential to win, he told “I think it could be possible with really specific circumstances. To fight against the others is really difficult.

“But it’s true that the conditions were quite the same for everybody (in Poland) and we could be there. The best times we did were real best times.”

Hyundai’s latest homologation developments are expected to feature on the i20 WRC at Rally Finland (31 July-3 August).

Nandan believes his team’s form in Poland – where the gravel stages are extremely fast – will serve as good preparation for the battle that is expected on the stages around Jyvaskyla.

“This has been a positive weekend for us,” he said. “We have made one step forward again and this is very good before Finland. By the last quarter of the season I expect to be much closer to the guys in front.”

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