Following on from its first win of the season at Tour de Corse earlier this month, Hyundai Motorsport is hopeful that it can challenge for victory again at Rally Argentina, the fifth round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
The team is in buoyant mood after its positive performance in Corsica, which saw Thierry Neuville take victory honours and Dani Sordo score a podium for third place. The result helped the team realise the potential shown by the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in the opening rounds of the 2017 season.
Team Principal Michel Nandan said:
“We enjoyed our first win of the season in Corsica, but now we have to reset our focus on our next challenge – a return to gravel. This year’s WRC is so competitive we cannot afford to rest for a moment. As we’ve seen with four different winners in the opening rounds of this season, the Championship is wide open so far. Returning to Argentina, the scene of Hayden’s popular win last year, we are optimistic in our ability to compete at the front once again.”
Michel Nandan: “Our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC is still developing, with room for improvement in all areas of performance, but we have taken a good haul of stage wins in each round of the Championship so far”
“And we hope that will continue. Our three crews have tested in Portugal to prepare for this rally, which is the first of five consecutive gravel events, and they are all eager to be in the fight.”
Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul have been arguably one of the most competitive crews so far this season. Having scored four stage wins and their first podium of 2017 at this year’s previous gravel event in Mexico, the pair will have high hopes that they can repeat their Corsican success.
Neuville commented: “The result from Tour de Corse is still fresh in our minds so we want to carry this feeling forward. Argentina is a completely different challenge to what we faced in Corsica, but we will do our best to pick up some momentum in the Championship with another good performance. Rally Argentina is probably the roughest rally of the season. It’s a rally where you need to take extra care in certain sections. The terrain doesn’t suit my style of driving perfectly and it is a rally where I have never found too much speed. Yet, this year we are looking forward to it with our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. I think we will be much better in these conditions and a lot more comfortable as well.”