Hyundai Motorsport come into round six of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Italia, looking to kick the bid for more podium finishes into high gear as they reflect on a mixed first half of the season. The team have one podium finish so far this year and will be looking to turn their pace into results in Sardinia.
Thierry Neuville is aiming to put the disappointment of the last two rounds behind him as he aims for his first points finish since Mexico. He finished 16th in 2014 at the Sardinia event and will be aiming to improve on the 2015 event.
It is going to be an interesting one this year again, for sure.” said the Belgian driver, “It’s a tricky race – you need a couple of years of experience before you can be really fast and confident here because it is quite narrow, with many twisty and dusty sections. The very slippery and sandy gravel make road cleaning quite important there as well.”
Dani Sordo has had a steady stream of top six finishes this season and will be hoping his recent pace will help him challenge for the podium this time out. He competes in Sardinia for the first time with he Hyundai team.
“Sardinia is a special rally and a very difficult one, because it is very slippery and narrow with a lot of stones along the sides of the roads.” said the Spaniard, “It is normally very hot as well, and quite unique because of the sheer amount of change that goes into the road between the first and second passes, with the grip levels changing a lot.”
New Zealander Hayden Paddon will once again represent the Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team when he crosses the start line in Sardinia. The Kiwi driver will have the luxury of having the new paddle shift system that was introduced on Neuville and Sordo’s cars at the last round. Paddon admits he isn’t the biggest fan of the stages on Rally Italia.
“The stages here are technical and quite sandy, similar to some of the surfaces that we saw in Portugal. To be honest, they are probably not my favourite types of stage in the world championship – they definitely are a challenge but we are going to push on and try and make some good improvements from last year and get closer to the front.”