After securing a podium finish in the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship at the Rallye Monte Carlo, Hyundai Motorsport head to Sweden for round two looking to carry on the momentum.
With three new generation i20 WRCs ready to challenge the snowy Scandinavian stages Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon will be keen to get more points on the board.
Neuville had a strong showing on Rally Sweden last year taking three stage wins and momentarily led the event while also claiming the Colin’s crest award. After starting the year off with a podium finish in Monte Carlo the Belgian will be full of confidence heading into the second round.
“We had a pretty good start to this season with the New Generation i20 WRC, finding improvements from the car day by day.” , said Neuville.
“Taking stage wins and a podium in our first event with the new car was a nice feeling and I hope we can take this forward to Sweden. It could be a really strong event for us so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve.”
Sordo struggled with confidence issues at the start of Rallye Monte Carlo as he broke in his new generation i20 WRC but the Spaniard found his speed towards the end of the event taking the Power Stage win. Sordo missed Sweden through injury last year and will contest the event as part of the Hyundai Mobis team.
“The conditions can be a little bit complicated when there is not really a full covering of ice; when the snow is soft, there is not very much grip.” said the Spaniard.
“When it is icy and really good conditions, you can push hard because it grips just as well as gravel. I am looking forward to Sweden and building on my experience in the New Generation i20 WRC after making sure I had a safe and reliable start to this season.”
Paddon’s season properly starts here. Having contested Monte Carlo in an older spec i20 WRC, the New Zealander dropped out of contention after hitting a tree on the Friday. However the Kiwi has proven he has speed and his fifth in Sweden in 2015 means he certainly won’t be making up the numbers.
“Sweden is a rally I really enjoyed last year and I particularly like rallying on snow.” said Paddon. “We want to put up a good performance for the team and for ourselves, to try to push towards the top-five for a good result, maybe even on the podium.
“We had a good run last year and I hope we can have another strong result with the New Generation i20 WRC.”
Rally Sweden will be contested over 21 stages starting with the traditional Super Special at the Karlstad trotting track.