Thu 30 Jun 2022

Moncet: ‘We’ll come back stronger’

Hyundai Motorsport will bounce back from its Safari Rally Kenya disappointment at next month’s Rally Estonia (14 - 17 July) – that’s the prediction from deputy team principal Julien Moncet.

The Alzenau-based team landed into last week’s Naivasha adventure on the back of a maiden hybrid win for the i20 N Rally1, courtesy of Ott Tänak’s Rally Italia Sardegna success earlier this month.

All three i20 Ns showed performance on Kenya’s punishing roads. Thierry Neuville won three of the 19 speed tests, including taking maximum bonus points from the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage, while Ott Tänak claimed one fastest time.

But the Belgian’s fifth place, allied to 10th for Oliver Solberg and retirement for Tänak wasn’t the result Moncet was hoping for. Hyundai now trails Toyota Gazoo Racing by 62 points in the FIA World Rally Championship’s manufacturers’ standings.

“Of course, we were disappointed with Safari,” said Moncet. “We came from Sardinia with the win and we wanted to make more progress.

“Sometimes motorsport can be like this. We have discussions, intense discussions, and we will do all we can to come back stronger at the next event. We have identified areas which need work and we are working on those solutions.

“Thierry’s Power Stage win was a positive for us, Ott had good pace and won a stage and Oliver showed that he is a really clever guy. His target was to learn, to take experience and to come to the finish. He has done that. Now we look to the next rally.”

Round seven takes the WRC to Tänak’s Estonian homeland – a place where the 2019 world champion thrilled home crowds with victory at the rally’s WRC debut in 2020.

Video: Safari Rally Kenya top 5 moments
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