After a mixed event in Argentina Hyundai Motorpsort are looking to get back into action on the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship on the Vodafone Rally de Portugal. Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville will head the Hyundai Shell World Rally team while New Zealander Hayden Paddon will head up the Hyundai Mobis challenge
All three drivers completed a six day pre-event test in Portugal back in April ahead of the event in preparation for the assault on the stages in the north of the country. Dani Sordo, who finished fifth in Argentina will hoping to break into the podium positions in Portugal and is relishing the challenges of this year’s stages.
“Rally de Portugal this year will be like what we saw at the Fafe Rally Sprint in the last couple of years, with the stages being a bit more slippery than in the South.” said the Spaniard, “From what we know from Fafe, and from testing, the stages are really nice so I’m really looking forward to driving there next week.”
Belgium’s Thierry Neuville will be hoping for a change of fortunes this time out after a last stage crash in Argentina ended his rally prematurely.
“I really hope to find good settings straight away and be competitive.”said the Belgian, “We made a mistake in Argentina which cost us quite a lot so we’re looking to have a clean run this week and achieve a positive result for us and the team.”
Paddon was involved in an accident on Rally Argentina that resulted in spectators getting injured and Kiwi will be hoping for better fortunes in Portugal. Paddon will take comfort from the fact that he has won the Production cup and the SWRC category here in the past.
“From what we saw at test, the stages look nice and fast but maybe a little sandier and softer compared to the rally in the South.” said the New Zealander, “We also found out in testing that if it rains the roads become like ice – very slippery.”