Hyundai Motorsports Thierry Neuville strengthened his lead in Rally Spain, the penultimate round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship on Saturday after a stage win in the afternoon saw the Belgian extend his lead over Elfyn Evans to 16.4s heading into Sunday’s final stages.
Speaking following the action, Neuville commented saying:
We have had a good day and it’s obviously a very nice feeling to be leading the rally going into the final day. It wasn’t easy; we had some fog early on and the roads were very dirty, so I relied a lot on information from the road note crew. We have taken a clever approach, trying to avoid the sharp cuts, and not risking any punctures. We made an important set-up change yesterday that allowed us to take more out of the car, but there are still things we could have done to go even quicker. I still felt comfortable, and we set six fastest times out of the seven stages, so it wasn’t too bad! It’s always nice to be in front but there are some challenging stages yet to come. Nothing is guaranteed but we keep believing.
Dani Sordo had a great day as he ended SS9 and SS13 as part of a Hyundai 1-2 and speaking about his day, the Spaniard who is just 1.2s off a podium finish commented saying:
Honestly, I am quite happy with our performance today, and particularly on the El Montmell stage. I would have preferred to be fighting for the win, of course, but I have been pushing hard to keep up with Sébastien for third. This morning, we were in a nice fight but in the afternoon, he was always a step ahead, setting some strong times. It was difficult for us to make up much ground. We have done the maximum we could, and we’ve been close to his pace. We will try to push for the podium tomorrow, but we know it will be difficult. We have to stay focused and do our best
Team Principal Andrea Adamo said:
“It has been a nice day for us. Thierry has continued to put in an amazing performance to extend his lead of the rally. It really shows the level of competitiveness of these cars that even after such a big fight, the gaps can still be so close. Dani has found it difficult to stay in front of Ogier, but we appreciate the effort and tenacity he has shown. The gap is now very small so there is a big opportunity for a fight tomorrow. We just have to see what we can bring home. The important thing is to enjoy it.”