27 June 2015
Hyundai ‘won’t get carried away’ as Poland looms
Despite a double podium in Sardinia, the four-strong Hyundai Motorsport team will not be setting lofty expectations as the WRC heads for a heavily-revised Rally Poland.
Rally Italia Sardegna star Hayden Paddon insists that, despite its results last time out, Hyundai Motorsport will have its feet firmly on the ground when it arrives in Poland for the next round of the 2015 World Rally Championship.
The team will arrive in Mikolajki fresh from a double podium in Sardinia and, with a Polish podium already under its belt from last season, hopes to continue its form as it fields four Hyundai i20 WRCs for the first time.
Rally Poland, however, will have a different look for this year's event, with all 19 stages held on Polish ground and the Mikolajki Arena stage, which will be run three times, is the only stage that is the same as those contested twelve months ago. The high-speed characteristics of the rally will remain, however, with sand covered gravel, tall roadside grass and hidden rocks all posing challenges to the drivers.
Paddon, despite being on a high after featuring among the standout performers in Sardinia as he led much of the rally and took his maiden WRC podium, insists that he is keeping his feet on the ground for Poland.
“Sardinia was a great result, but we won't get carried away,” he maintained, “We have to take each rally as it comes and keep focused on the job in hand.
“Poland is quite nice, similar in places to Finland - fast, flowing and with a lot of crests, but it is softer and sandier, so can become quite rutted on the second pass. The stages are nice and suit my driving style, so I'm looking forward to getting back out there and seeing what we can do.”
The Alzenau-based Hyundai squad secured a Polish podium with Thierry Neuville claiming third place last year, and the Belgian will also lead the team's quartet this time around. A similar result in Sardinia was a timely boost for Neuville's confidence and, having carried out a pre-Poland test with Paddon and Dani Sordo is hoping that a new-spec camshaft fitted to his #7 machine will help to deliver at least a similar result.
“We have good memories from last year's Rally Poland, where we also took some fastest stage times, and I really enjoy the fast, flowing nature of the Polish stages,” Neuville commented, “We were surprised to take a podium in Sardinia after the weekend we had, but it was a great result for the team overall and I hope we can build on that.”
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