Hyundai Motorsports Thierry Neuville is up to fourth overall following day three of the FIA World Rally Championship season opening Rallye Monte-Carlo
Speaking following the action the Belgian commented saying:
“It has been another tricky, challenging day but we have been constantly improving in the car. It was a difficult start; I wasn’t feeling comfortable in the first stage and not in the rhythm but that improved in SS10. I tried to be as efficient as possible in the car, looking for traction and keeping it clean. There was a mid-section where I felt I had more grip so I could push a bit more. Still, I was surprised to see the time, especially after we lost a lot in that opening stage. It was our first stage win of the season and the first for Martijn, which was nice after the progress we have made this weekend. The target has been to get mileage and get used to working with each other. Monte is the best school you can get!”
Dani Sordo goes into the final day following a solid Saturday in fifth place overall and speaking following the action he said:
“Today was all about the grip and getting the car to the end. We knew the opening stage would be ‘interesting’ with lots of ice when we heard the comments of the gravel crew this morning. We changed to a softer car set-up to get a better feeling. The first stage was difficult to read the road, as we knew it would be, with some slippery places and other parts less so. I lost a bit of confidence in the middle of the second stage, so I didn’t push as much there. We didn’t have any problems and it’s been important to get through today with no mistakes. We took the final stage slowly because it’s so easy to go off the line, so we took no risks.”
It was a disappointing day for Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja who suffered two consecutive punctures and were unable to continue forcing them to retire from the event and speaking following the action Tanak said:
Unfortunately, another early finish to Monte for us. On the first stage, I hit a stone – or something similar – and damaged the wheel, which caused a puncture. It was my mistake, something I didn’t notice during the recce. From the very beginning of the second stage we had a slow puncture, so it was a long way to come back on the rubber. We tried to put the first damaged tyre back on the car to make the road section, but it didn’t last. Nothing much more we could do. We made it to service but had to retire the car. With no opportunity to re-join tomorrow that’s the end of the rally for us.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Andrea Adamo commented saying:
If we have to assess the picture as it currently stands, we cannot be proud of the job we have done so far. It is not the kind of rally performance we wish to show and it’s another day where we are just bringing things home. Sadly, we lost Ott and Martin to a double puncture; it happened on the only occasion in the World Championship where we can’t re-join on Sunday, so the fans at home will not be able to enjoy another driver in the Power Stage. The rules are the rules, and we stick to them. There’s not much more to add on a day that has not been at a Hyundai Motorsport level. Still, we have learned many times in the past that the rally is never over until it is over. Monte is the flagship of this saying.