Hyundai Motorsport WRC Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul says that Thierry Neuville’s second-place finish in Rally Mexico is a great feeling and a fantastic reward for the whole team’s hard work,

It is the team’s second consecutive second-place finish, following Craig Breen’s podium finish in Sweden last month. Speaking about the result, Abiteboul, who joined the team ahead of the start of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship season, stated:

“Taking second position is a great feeling and fantastic reward for the whole team, who have all done an amazing job in preparing a competitive and perfectly reliable car for the challenge of Rally México. Losing Esapekka from the rally on Saturday morning was tough after he showed such impressive pace, but we remained focused on the job in hand. Thierry had been suffering a bit from an adverse road position, as well as with a hybrid issue following an artificial jump in the Ortega stage that cost him time. Still, he showed his resilience and did brilliantly. He was passionate and determined, attacking when it mattered to get the job done. As a result, he has moved up a place in the drivers’ championship, which we know will be incredibly tight this season. All in all, I feel we have a car, crews and a team capable of being competitive in all situations. I am interested to see how we fare in Croatia – that will be the next litmus test back on tarmac.”

Neuville took six stages victories over the course of the event and speaking following the rally he commented saying:

I have been flat out all weekend, and I am delighted to take our third podium in three rallies. We had tried hard to improve the car all weekend; the handling has been getting better. With our road position on the first day, it was tough; we ended Friday almost 40 seconds adrift of the lead. Since Saturday, things have been better and slowly we could catch up with Elfyn. He didn’t make it easy, so we had to fight hard right to the end. After today’s long stage, Otates, I was a bit disappointed, as I had to slow down for a couple of dogs on the road. That cost us time, but I stayed calm and saw an opportunity in the Power Stage. I pushed as hard as I could, without taking unnecessary risks. Second place is a great reward for the whole team.

2023 FIA World Rally Championship Round 3,
Rally Mexico 2023, 16-19 March 2023
Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid, Action during Day 3 of WRC Rally Mexico 2023
Photographer: Romain Thuillier
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

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