With only a day left to go, Hyundai Motorsport are in the hunt for a potential second place finish at the 2016 Rallye Deutschland.
Volkswagen’s Andreas Mikkelsen and the i20’s of Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville were all covered by just four seconds after 14 stages, with four left to go on Sunday.
The returning Sordo put in an excellent performance on the changeable conditions of Rallye Deutschland to claim third by just four-tenths of a second ahead of the Belgian in fourth.
New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon has claimed fifth place after making three places on Saturday’s Day 2 from eighth as they racked up more experience on the German asphalt.
Sordo said after Day 2 of Rallye Deutschland “It’s been a difficult day but I am very happy with our performance in these tricky conditions. The New Generation i20 WRC has performed perfectly today.
“I had a good feeling from the car in the afternoon, and we could set some competitive times. We made a good tyre call in the final run through Panzerplatte, which helped us to move up to third.
“It’s very tight with Andreas and Thierry, so we have an interesting fight on our hands. I hope we can continue to have the same positive feeling on tomorrow’s stages. A podium is definitely our target but it’s far from guaranteed!”
Neuville will look to overhaul Mikkelsen and team-mate Sordo for second place on Sunday, saying “It’s great to be involved in an exciting battle with Andreas and Dani. The key to unlocking the best performance today has been tyre decisions, and it’s been complicated.
“We made the wrong tyre choice for the morning loop and I also experienced a loss of power steering in the final kilometres of the first run through Panzerplatte Lang, which lost us some time. The start of the afternoon loop wasn’t ideal as we overshot a hairpin in SS11, which again cost us a few seconds.
“After that, we started to pull things back with two stage wins in SS12 and 13, as well as a decent final run through Panzerplatte. The gap is incredibly close for the podium so we’ll have to be on top of our game on Sunday.”
Paddon added “It’s been a trying day but we’ve definitely made some improvements compared to yesterday. We had some unpredictable conditions in the morning, which made tyre choice very difficult. Unfortunately, we got it wrong and were on hard tyres when we should have selected soft – and vice-versa.
“We’re inside the top-five and have had a more positive conclusion to the day. I fully intend to take that forward to Sunday and look to consolidate our position.”