Hyundai Motorsport is looking to continue its return to form after a strong performance last time out on Arctic Rally Finland with victory on this weekend’s brand new WRC Rally Croatia.
After a tough Rallye Monte Carlo, the team bounced back with a double podium in the Arctic, with Ott Tanak taking the victory and Thierry Neuville securing his second podium finish of the season.
Team Principal Andrea Adamo was much happier with the performance of his team, but was keen to stress the importance that this strong form is kept through out the season, he said:
“Arctic Rally Finland marked a return to the form we expect from ourselves as a team. Now we have to carry that momentum forward to Croatia and beyond.
“It is vital we perform consistently strong on all surfaces this year in order for us to defend our title once again, so we have to acclimatise quickly to these unknown stages and be on the pace from the start.
We all need to give our best and work together towards our common goal: to fight at the front and take the lead of the championship standings.”
Winner last time out, Ott Tanak was happy to bounce back after a difficult weekend in Monte Carlo. The Estonian has been strong on asphalt in the past, and with a higher than usual amount of asphalt events in the championship this year, he knows it is important to be strong on this surface.
“I have never been to Croatia and I haven’t seen any footage, so currently it’s all new information. Hopefully it will be a proper event; I have heard that the roads should be good fun there.
“It seems that there will be a few tarmac events in the championship this year, so it is a surface we need to be strong on. We will aim to hit the ground running from the beginning and continue our positive momentum from Finland.”
Neuville looking forward to a new tarmac challenge
Along with his team mate Tanak, Thierry Neuville was also on the podium on Arctic Rally Finland continuing a strong start to the season with new co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe with two successive third placed finishes. After taking in Rallye Sanremo as part of their pre event preparations, Neuville is excited to get back to competing on tarmac.
“I always look forward to tarmac events. This time it is a new one for everybody; none of us has been previously competed in Croatia. Also for the teams, we have no experience of these stages. It’s going to be a challenging event but I think everybody likes the fact that it is new.
“Because it is our first time at Croatia Rally, there is a lot of hard work for us to do as soon as we arrive to ensure we are as prepared as possible.”
The teams third entry in Croatia will be driven by Craig Breen, as he will be looking to continue working on his driving in the Hyundai i20 WRC, a debrief prior to the Power Stage in Finland seemed to transform the Irishman’s speed in the car between stages. He could prove to be a surprise package on a surface that he loves and grew up on.
“Croatia brings the first tarmac round of the season and a new event for everybody. It’s honestly quite difficult to find any information about the rally, but it looks like it will be an interesting event, hopefully with some nice weather, and some stages in the mountains.
“I’m definitely really looking forward to my first proper event on tarmac with the Hyundai i20 WRC in the championship. It should be a nice event.”