Both Hyundai Motorsport drivers put in strong performance on the third day of 2015 Rallye Monte-Carlo as they fought for fifth place.
The opening stage of Saturday was cancelled due to over enthusiastic fans on the stage, organisers took the decision to cancel the stage as it would have been too dangerous to run.
With SS9 cancelled, it was the 51.70km SS10 that opened the days action and Dani Sordo led the teams efforts putting in a respectable fifth fastest time despite a small off, team-mate Thierry Neuville brought his Hyundai i20 home in tenth place.
SS11 was a steady stage for the Hyundai pair with Sordo finishing eighth and Neuville ninth, SS12 saw Neuville light up the split times and taking a top three stage finish, Sordo come home fifth on the stage to move in to fifth place overall at the end of the third day with Neuville moving to sixth.
“To have both Thierry and Dani in the top five in the final stage today, and both in the top six overall is quite positive” – Team Principal Michel Nandan
“We’ve had quite an encouraging day and I am pleased to be in the top five overall.” said Sordo. “It hasn’t been a completely straightforward day, but then there is no such thing at Monte-Carlo!
“The long stage this morning was really nice and apart from a small mistake we could finish in the top five. This afternoon was also challenging with mixed conditions but went ok. In the final stage, we probably should have used studded tyres instead of the snow because it was very slippery.
“It was not too bad and we can now look forward to the final day and the objective of finishing in the top five, which would be a good result for us in the first rally of the new season.”
Despite losing ground to his team-mate, Neuville was happy with his performance. “I have actually enjoyed today and I have built up a lot more confidence in these very difficult conditions. We have had another day where tyre choice has been very important and I think we have mastered this quite well.
“The first stage this morning was very long and we went perhaps a bit too hard with our tyre choice so we had to exercise caution in the icy conditions. In the afternoon, we improved and the final stage was our best of the rally so far.
“The car was exactly like I wanted it with a good balance and it was a great result. The end is in sight but we have three more stages left and we must keep up this progress right up to the finish of the rally.”
With just four seconds between Neuville and Sordo it sets up a great battle for the final day.