Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan has hailed the team's first podium - and first two-car finish - on Rally Mexico last weekend as 'hugely significant'.
Thierry Neuville eventually brought his i20 WRC home in third place – despite a late scare
, which saw him have to top up the radiator with water and beer! Team-mate, Chris Atkinson meanwhile also added to the joy by taking seventh in the sister car.
“Our team is still very young so this result is hugely significant for us”, Nandan confirmed after the third round in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship. “Not only have we finished one of the toughest rallies with both cars, but we have also scored a debut podium in the process. It's fantastic.
“We are learning all the time and we are pushing hard both on event and back at our factory in Alzenau. The WRC programme is a big challenge and one upon which we embarked with a very short time scale. This result today is a huge reward for a lot of hard work and determination, so thanks must go to the entire team in Alzenau and also to our colleagues in the Namyang R&D centre in Korea.
“We are building a great team of people and we are going to celebrate this together before getting straight back to work, preparing for Portugal.
“Our learning curve continues despite this good result.”
Hyundai will now run three-cars in Portugal next month, with Juho Hanninen and Dani Sordo joining team leader, Neuville for what will be the fourth round in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship and the second event of the year on gravel.