GROUP RAL­LY­ING EDI­TOR “Hyundai’s launch was all about Ogier’s fu­ture”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Tar­mac ace in Fi­esta test, p16

The first of the muchan­tic­i­pated 2017 World Rally Cars broke cover last week, when Hyundai re­vealed its i20 Coupe WRC in Italy.

The cov­ers were pulled off the Korean team’s third World Rally Car in as many sea­sons ahead of the Monza Rally, with the car left on dis­play at the cir­cuit for the week­end.

Speak­ing at the launch, team prin­ci­pal Michel Nan­dan ac­cepted that – in the ab­sence of Volk­swa­gen – his squad has moved into the po­si­tion of pre-sea­son favourite.

“Our driver line-up has not changed, it’s a strong line-up,” he said. “We are very happy with what we have from the new car. It’s go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing year com­ing. OK, it will be dif­fer­ent not hav­ing Volk­swa­gen and with­out them I think we can be con­sid­ered the favourite.”

Nan­dan ad­mit­ted Ogier’s de­ci­sion on where he will drive would still play a key role in the des­ti­na­tion of the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ ti­tle.

He added: “I think we are favourites – es­pe­cially with­out Ogier in a red (Citroen) car.

New i20 is built to new rules

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