It was a careful and dramatic start for the Hyundai Motorsport team on the opening two tests at Rallye Monte-Carlo. With conditions very tricky Thierry Neville and Dani Sordo finished the Day 1 in eighth and twelfth respectively.
Belgian driver Neuville had an understandable steady run through the opening two stages considering his retirement on the opening test on last years event. He finished the opening test sixth stating that he was struggling in the difficult conditions.
On stage two the Belgian again kept his pace steady aiming to reach the end of the day. “The stage is very dangerous,” said Neuville “I had to keep a safe pace. Still, it feels good to be here, it’s the first time I have reached the end of the opening day of the Monte!”
Sordo had an eventful first day on his second Rallye Monte-Carlo with Hyundai Motorsport. He ran into trouble early in the first stage after he braked too late in the treacherously icy conditions and went straight on into a ditch. Co-driver Marc Martí had to push the car back so the duo could complete the stage but with damage to the front-right light pod, they lost thirty seconds of time.
The Spanish crew fought back in SS2 with a fine run to sixth place despite not running with the ideal tyres for the stage’s dry conditions. Nevertheless, Sordo will start the second day of the rally twelfth overall with many more challenging stages still to contest.
“I lost a lot of time at the start of the opening stage” said Sordo. “Before the first split time, I braked too late in the very slippery conditions and went straight on. Unfortunately, we went into a ditch and so Marc had to push the car out so we could re-join.
“We lost about thirty seconds of time which was not how we wanted to start. In the second stage, I had studded tyres on, which wasn’t the correct choice in the drier conditions. I was also struggling with visibility. However, we have completed the first day and can look to finding some improvements on Friday.”