23 August 2015
WRC Rallye Deutschland: Best of year for Sordo as Hyundai reclaims P2
Dani Sordo: We took things calmly on the final day because it was very clear that our target - both for Thierry and myself - was to secure the top-five positions and to pick up important championship points. We have managed to move back into second place in the Manufacturers' standings now, which is great in our home event.
Dani Sordo reckons he got the best result he could on Rallye Deutschland on Sunday after beating team-mate Thierry Neuville to fourth, while the 4-5 result was enough to lift Hyundai back to second in the Manufacturers' Championship.
Sordo and Neuville jockeyed for position for much of the event, but in the end it was the Spaniard that won the inter-team battle, coming home 24.5 seconds ahead, despite struggling with intermittent gearbox problems.
It was Sordo's best result of the year, matching what he achieved last October on Rallye de France-Alsace.
“It has been a positive weekend for me and I am really happy to finish in a competitive fourth position with a Power Stage point as well,” Sordo said. “The car has been nice to drive, especially on the final day, and I don't think we could have done much more.
“We took things calmly on the final day because it was very clear that our target - both for Thierry and myself - was to secure the top-five positions and to pick up important championship points. We have managed to move back into second place in the Manufacturers' standings now, which is great in our home event. I'd like to say congratulations also to Thierry, he has also had a very strong rally.”
Neuville was magnanimous after losing out and added that Sordo deserved fourth: “All in all, I think we can be very pleased with our weekend in Germany. The target on Sunday was to bring the car home safely in the top five and we have been able to do that without any difficulties," he added.
"It was fun to be in the fight with Dani for fourth place this weekend. I had a couple of stages on Saturday where the rhythm was not perfect and where Dani was stronger, and that made the difference, so he deserved it.
“As a team, we have a nice result for the Championship, which is the most important thing. We can now look to build on this performance for the next rallies and, hopefully, we can consolidate this position.”
Meanwhile, Hyundai boss Michal Nandan said he was “very satisfied” to see the team move back to second in the Manufacturers', 13 points up on Citroen.
He was also pleased to see all four cars get to the end, with Hyundai Motorsport N man Hayden Paddon ninth and Kevin Abbring eleventh in the fourth car.
“We have achieved what we set out to accomplish in Rallye Deutschland so I'm very satisfied with this result. The drivers have performed well and truly worked as a team to secure a four-car finish with two cars inside the top-five,” Nandan summarised.
“We have moved back into second place in the Championship and we must now build on this momentum to consolidate that in the next rounds.
"Dani and Thierry have both been on competitive form, as we knew they would be, but have shown a sensible approach to the rally to get both cars home in the top-five.
“For Hayden and Kevin, it has been a weekend of learning. We have also had to deal with some small technical issues but overall it has been a useful weekend for them both, and I commend their professionalism."
“[Overall] it has been another enjoyable home event for our team and although we have not been able to fight for a podium, we were actually not too far off at the end. We will continue to push ourselves to close the gap to the frontrunners,” Nandan concluded.
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