Nandan targets improvement
Hyundai Motorsport boss Michel Nandan has warned his squad must improve at YPF Rally Argentina [26 - 29 April] or risk losing its lead in the WRC manufacturers' championship.
Hyundai heads to the season's fifth round with a slender four-point lead over M-Sport Ford after a lacklustre performance at the last fixture in Corsica when i20 drivers Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Andreas Mikkelsen were outpaced by their rivals on asphalt.
Nandan is targeting a dramatic upturn in performance when the championship returns to gravel at an event where his team has shone in the past.
“We had a tough weekend in Corsica, but salvaged a podium finish to keep hold of our lead in the championship. We have to put in a stronger all-round performance in Argentina if we are to continue in this way, as the competition around us is so close," Nandan explained.
Two years ago, Hayden Paddon took the win in Argentina with a nail-biting performance on the live TV Power Stage, while last year Neuville won by 0.7sec from Elfyn Evans in one of the closest finishes in WRC history. Next week, Nandan has his sights set on an Argentina hat-trick.
The team will rely on the same three-crew line-up from Corsica, all of whom
took part in a three-day pre-event test in Portugal (below). Carrying out preparations on the gravel roads near Amarante, the team was also able to validate an engine joker - related to the timing system - that is being introduced from Argentina.
"We have made some improvements and upgrades to our car for this rally, but we know our rivals are pushing hard too," Nandan said. "Let’s hope for another great weekend – and possibly even our third Argentina win in a row.”