A fight back on the final day saw Belgium driver Thierry Neuville round out the World Rally Championship podium at the 2016 Rally Catalunya – Rally de Espana.
The multiple-rally winner and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul adopted a cautious approach to the final stages in order to pick up important points for the Championship. The momentum sees him record his third consecutive podium moving him up to second in the classification, equal on points with Andreas Mikkelsen.
Speaking after the rally, Neuville said: “It’s been a good weekend. I don’t think we could have got anything more out of the car in this rally. I took things carefully this morning. We did a good job to get into the podium positions so we didn’t want to waste that effort.
“We were focused on the 15 championship points, so accepted that we’d have to compromise our stage times to do that. We had to take it cautiously in some sections, but I was mostly able to drive my usual rhythm.”
It was also a strong weekend for his team-mate’s in their Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC‘s. Spanish driver Dani Sordo was a further minute ahead in second while Hayden Paddon was behind in fourth overall.
“As a team, we’ve had a competitive weekend with three cars in the top-four, so we can use this momentum for the final events of the season in GB and Australia. There are a few more competitive performances to come from us this year, I’m sure!”
It wasn’t all good news for the team though with Sébastien Ogier collecting his third win on the bounce and as a result the championship. Despite this, runners-up spot is still up for grabs for three of the Hyundai line-up.
“To have two crews on the podium, with Thierry taking his fifth podium of the season and now being in close contention for second place in the drivers’ championship, is a satisfying achievement.” said Team Principal Michel Nandan.
“There are many positive lessons we can take away from this rally to make improvements for the future.”