Hyundai rally team out of luck at Monte-Carlo

Shepparton News - Shepparton Car Weekly - - SHEPPARTON CAR WEEKLY -

The Hyundai Shell World Rally Team has suf­fered a dis­ap­point­ingly early end to its de­but rally in the 2014 FIA World Rally Cham­pi­onship (WRC) af­ter both Hyundai i20 WRC cars re­tired from Ral­lye Monte-Carlo.

The team, how­ever, re­mains pos­i­tive about its first com­pet­i­tive stages on the World Rally stage fol­low­ing some en­cour­ag­ing per­for­mances and stage times in the chal­leng­ing and un­pre­dictable con­di­tions.

Thierry Neuville and his co-driver Ni­co­las Gil­soul saw their Mon­teCarlo rally fin­ish less than 7km into the open­ing stage af­ter un­ex­pected and treach­er­ous icy con­di­tions caught them out at a tight right-hand cor­ner while they were on Miche­lin su­per-soft tyres.

The con­di­tions took many driv­ers by sur­prise and re­sulted in a dra­matic open­ing stage.

Un­for­tu­nately for Neuville and the team, who were show­ing im­pres­sive early pace, the dam­age sus­tained to the #7 Hyundai i20 WRC was too sub­stan­tial to restart.

Dani Sordo and Marc Martí, pi­lot­ing the #8 Hyundai i20 WRC car, made a promis­ing start in the open­ing loop and they ended in third place over­all. The team strat­egy paid div­i­dends in the fi­nal stage of the open­ing loop as Sordo fin­ished just eight sec­onds off the stage leader.

Af­ter the lunchtime ser­vice, Sordo em­barked on the re­peat loop of three stages with re­newed vigour and claimed the sec­ond fastest stage time, but a tech­ni­cal is­sue stopped him on the road­side and the Spa­niards were forced to re­tire from the rally.

Team prin­ci­pal Michel Nan­dan drew pos­i­tive con­clu­sions from Hyundai Mo­tor­sport’s de­but WRC event.

‘‘Of course, this is a dis­ap­point­ing end for us in our de­but rally but this is rally and these things can hap­pen, so we must re­main pos­i­tive,’’ he said.

‘‘Hyundai Mo­tor­sport has only been in ex­is­tence for one year. ‘‘We have com­pleted 8000km with the Hyundai i20 WRCs in test­ing but Ral­lye Monte-Carlo was our first proper test and we are here to learn.

‘‘Monte Carlo is a spe­cial rally so it’s not easy to draw com­par­isons but gen­er­ally speak­ing we showed that Hyundai is here to com­pete se­ri­ously.

‘‘We will learn from this ex­pe­ri­ence and move onto Sweden in a pos­i­tive man­ner.’’

For a full run­down on Hyundai ve­hi­cles or to buy your­self a road ready Hyundai call into Shepparton Hyundai, Be­nalla Rd. Or phone the show­room on 5822 5877.

Dani Sordo and Marc Martí, pi­lot­ing the #8 Hyundai i20 WRC car, made a promis­ing start in the open­ing loop

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