Rally de Portugal: 'Milestone' stage wins for Hyundai

Hyundai WRC boss Michael Nandan reckons the team performed better than the end results show on Rally de Portugal
Hyundai team boss Michal Nandan has hailed the team's first stage wins on Rally de Portugal last weekend as a 'milestone' achievement.

Dani Sordo took two stage victories on Friday morning and even led early on in the Hyundai Motorsport N entry, while Thierry Neuville also claimed a stage triumph, when he was fastest in his i20 WRC in SS6 in the afternoon.

The event, though, ended somewhat disappointingly, as Sordo lost fourth on the final day due to a front left driveshaft failure. Late problems also dropped Neuville from sixth to seventh, one spot ahead of Juho Hanninen, who was eighth in the #8 i20 WRC.

"Our target was to have all three cars finish this event and ultimately we have two cars in classified position but this has been no ordinary rally," Nandan stated after the fourth round in the 2014 World Rally Championship. "We have seen a lot of incidents throughout the WRC field and our three drivers have all performed admirably in difficult conditions. It is easy to say that it's just our fourth event but we have performed better than the end results show.

"We have worked efficiently as a team to run three cars for the first time, the drivers have navigated some slippery and unpredictable conditions and we have reached some very pleasing milestones. We claimed three stage wins out of six stages on Friday showing the performance of the Hyundai i20 WRC car. Our objective this year is not to win stages or score podiums but it is encouraging to see that we have the potential to do so.

"Thierry, Juho and Dani have driven very professionally this weekend and their combined feedback will be immeasurably valuable to us as we prepare for the next rounds."

The Hyundai Shell World Rally Team will now revert to a two-car line-up in Argentina next month, with Neuville and Hanninen in action.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Juho Hanninen (FIN), Tomi Tuominen (FIN), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

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April 07, 2014 12:56 PM

You cant fault their determination, it would seem that they have now resolved the Briggs and Stratton engine issues and are now very capable of setting fastest times with the Car. I was very surprised to see Danny leading Neuville and Hanninen, he has been surprisingly quick on selected Gravel events in the past, I think its all down to motivation with Sordo, maybe Citroen kept him guessing himself, I know when he is having a bad day on Gravel it really is Bad Its good to see him sticking his name up there though, certainly a performance out of reach of his Team mates Hanninen and Atkinson, Maybe next year he will partner Neuville Full time in the 2nd seat if he can keep this performance up. I hope they now extend his programme of events. Its good for the sport.


April 10, 2014 10:02 AM

I think if the new engine, suspension and chassis updates all bring the car on it terms of performance and reliability you could see Hyundai take their maiden victory in its 1st season. This could come as soon as Germany with Sordo

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