Neuville and Ostberg fastest as Kiwi chases
Thierry Neuville and Mads Ostberg yesterday recorded equal fastest times on the opening stage of Rally Portugal with Kiwi Hayden Paddon the next fastest.
Hyundai driver Paddon posted the third fastest time on the short 3.36km opening test to give him some confidence ahead of the first full day of action overnight.
The 30- year- old needs a big opening day if he wants to earn a good road position for the weekend and fight for a rally win.
He had earlier been happy with his car's performance in the preevent shakedown.
Paddon will have every opportunity to fight for a win with the Hyundai World Rally Team employing a clear philosophy around team strategy.
Neuville is in the fight for the
“I’m lucky we all get on well and have a lot of similarities. It’s a nice environment to work in and it’s a big vote of confidence that someone of John’s status sees a lot of things in me that he has, which is quite humbling.
“They have been very successful and I hope I can help Hayden to continue to be so,” Marshall said. world championship while the team is clearly targeting a manufacturer's title.
But Paddon believes they'll allow him every opportunity to win.
“The team's main priority is the manufacturers’ championship so basically as each rally develops, once they can see how the positions are looking, then maybe there will be instructions coming in to hold position or to push depending on how the three cars are going,” Paddon said.
“That is a strategy that is looked upon as the rally progresses.”
Elfyn Evans ( DMACK Ford), Dani Sordo ( Hyundai) and Sebastien Ogier ( M- Sport Ford) completed the top six yesterday.
Portugal should be a good opportunity for the pair to grab a fist full of points as he tested there two months ago. They also recently tested in Sardinia to get a jump on settings.
This event is quite easy on tyres and he’s on his favoured surface so a top three finish could be on the cards.