Wed 03 Apr 2024

We can be proud of our Safari efforts, says Hyundai's Abiteboul

Hyundai Motorsport president and team principal Cyril Abiteboul has praised the effort and commitment from his Alzenau-based squad following a tough Safari Rally Kenya outing last week.

Hyundai Motorsport president and team principal Cyril Abiteboul has praised the effort and commitment from his Alzenau-based squad following a tough Safari Rally Kenya outing last week.

The factory i20 N Rally1 Hybrid cars of Ott Tänak and Esapekka Lappi were forced to run under restart regulations after problems on the opening day, while Thierry Neuville dropped 10 minutes with a fuel-related issue on the second day.

Despite those problems, Belgian star Neuville extended his advantage at the top of the drivers’ championship, while the team contained the points loss to rival manufacturer to just four.

Abiteboul acknowledged there were issues with the car, but he pointed out that the pace shown on Sunday demonstrated progress on the African event. He said: “Teamwork is probably the key word of the weekend at an event that always presents a number of challenges for crews, but unfortunately a bit more for ours. Some of them were a natural part of Safari Rally Kenya, but others were self-inflicted by residual weaknesses of our cars.

“Our pace has been very good and on par with our closest competitor at an event where we were so behind last year – it is good to see the progress we have achieved in less than a year. It is down to the fantastic work over winter at the factory, but recovering from all the chaos we faced over the course of this weekend has been down to the great teamwork and long hours from everyone here pushing and keeping their heads up.

“I particularly loved that final one-two-three [Wolf Power Stage result] from our crews – it is a demonstration of the capabilities of our car, but also of the mindset that must prevail in this championship in any given situation.”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM