Thierry Neuville says he is feeling 'refreshed' ahead of the 2016 World Rally Championship with Hyundai as it prepares to unleash the new generation i20 WRC challenger for its competitive debut.
The Belgian rally driver endured a difficult end to last year's campaign by claiming just one points finish in the final three rounds, an eighth place in Spain.
For the final rally of 2015, Neuville actively backed being dropped into Hyundai's second string squad in the favour of promoting team-mate Hayden Paddon as his team went head-to-head with Citroen for the runner-up spot in the manufacturers' championship.
With Hyundai implementing a rotation policy between its three drivers for the two manufacturer championship entries, the former WRC rally winner is targeting a fightback at Rallye Monte Carlo and is intrigued to see where the updated i20 WRC machine slots into the pack.
“Rallye Monte-Carlo is an exciting event and a pleasure to compete in, though it is not always kind to drivers,” Neuville said. “We have spent the winter break busily testing the New Generation i20 WRC and we are very happy with how it has been performing. The car is a definite improvement in all areas and it certainly looks fit for the World Rally stages.
“I am looking forward to its competitive debut although we will have to wait a few stages before we can really appreciate where we stand against our seasoned rivals. Together with my refreshed approach to rallying this year, I hope we can put in a good performance over the four days. We will use all of our experience to fight for the podium and establish our intent for the season.”
12 months ago Neuville claimed his first WRC finish at Rallye Monte Carlo after retiring from his three previous attempts and he notched up a respectable fifth place.