Tue 23 Aug 2022

Moncet: The biggest challenge may be in front of us

Hyundai Motorsport’s deputy team director Julien Moncet believes there could be bigger challenges ahead for his team - despite Ott Tänak winning last week’s Ypres Rally Belgium.

Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja clinched their second-successive victory at the helm of a Hyundai 20 N Rally1 in Belgium, marking the car’s first triumph on asphalt just weeks after the pair topped the timesheets at Secto Rally Finland. 

But Moncet, who has led the team since the beginning of this season, is already looking to the future and suggested he and his colleagues may need to work even harder to continue the winning trajectory. 

“It looks like we are on a positive dynamic right now,” he said. “Maybe the biggest challenge is actually in front of us to try and stay on this dynamic. 

“But gosh, let’s just enjoy the moment - it feels so good right now. It was another great drive from Ott and Martin and it’s good to be on top of the podium. After Finland on gravel, now we have won in Ypres on Tarmac.

“We are still not where we want to be,” he continued, “but definitely we are showing that the car is capable of winning everywhere and this is very encouraging for the whole team.”

Tänak seized the lead late on Saturday when home hero Thierry Neuville - also driving a Hyundai - retired after going off the road and into a ditch. 

Oliver Solberg took his best-ever WRC result by bringing the team’s third car home in fourth overall. Moncet was impressed by the young Swede’s response after he crashed early in the previous round.

“Oliver drove an amazing rally,” he lauded. “I mean, he came here maybe unsure after the disaster in Finland, but we tried to put him in the best conditions to bounce back and we asked him to just bring the car to the finish. He actually did much more than that. 

“We worked a lot with Oliver and the engineers to make him as confident as possible in the car and he showed some good performance and claimed his best result, so congratulations to him.”

Seasoned Spaniard Dani Sordo replaces Solberg for EKO Acropolis Rally Greece next month (8 - 11 September) with the pair alternating drives this year. Solberg returns to the line-up for Repco Rally New Zealand at the end of September.

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