Nandan: A top-three finish is nice but we know we have missed...

Nandan: A top-three finish is nice but we know we have missed out on so much more

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Hyundai Motorsport has registered a podium finish in Rally Turkey, the tenth round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with Hayden Paddon and Seb Marshall completing a punishing event in a fine third place. For the Kiwi and his British co-driver, the result marked their first podium of the 2018 season and Hyundai Motorsport’s tenth in total this year.

Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger led the rally on three separate occasions. Bur they had technical issues on Saturday afternoon and finished in fifth place.

Following two incredibly rough days of action, the last day’s itinerary was a relatively calmer affair. Crews focused on securing their positions. However, the title protagonists Thierry Neuville, Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak all had eyes on the extra Power Stage points.

Following their retirement on Saturday morning, Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul re-joined under Rally 2 on Sunday morning. The Belgian crew laid down a strong benchmark in the day’s opening run through the 7.14km Marmaris stage, claiming their third fastest time of the weekend. They went on to set a blistering pace in the Power Stage, the only crew to complete the route in less than five minutes, to score five crucial extra points.

The WRC manufacturers’ championship has intensified.

A resurgent Toyota Gazoo Racing moved into the lead by just five points over Hyundai Motorsport after their 1-2 result in Turkey

Despite a hard-fought but ultimately disappointing rally, Neuville retains his lead in the drivers’ championship, just 13 points ahead of new runner-up Tanak and 23 from third-placed Ogier. With three rallies remaining of the 2018 season, it promises to be an exciting fight to the finish.

“I am pleased to see Hayden and Seb register their first podium of the season after a measured and intelligent drive this weekend. It is always nice to take a top-three finish but we know we have missed out on so much more”, Team Principal Michel Nandan commented.

“Thierry and Andreas both led the rally on different occasions, and the pace of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC was strong on these very rough Turkish stages. The impressive performance of Thierry and Nicolas in the Power Stage showed what might have been. Unfortunately, we have to accept the situation and come fighting; it is what rallying is all about. We have seen a shift in the championship battle this weekend, one from which we need to bounce back quickly. We will aim to do just that in Wales.”

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