HYUNDAI TEAM PRINCIPAL MICHEL NANDAN HAS DEMANDED HIS TEAM GIVE ITS CREWS THE BEST CARS POSSIBLE AT THIS WEEK’S DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB (4-7 OCTOBER) SO IT CAN FIGHT TO RECLAIM ITS LEAD IN THE MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP.
The Korean team was overhauled by Toyota Gazoo Racing at the top of the standings after a troubled Rally Turkey earlier this month. Early leader Thierry Neuville’s i20 suffered broken suspension while team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen also led before being slowed with transmission problems.
Hayden Paddon’s first podium of the year , and a fifth-place finish for Mikkelsen, helped Hyundai secure 25 points, but a one-two for Toyota gave it a five-point lead in the standings with just three rallies remaining.
As the season draws to a close, Nandan wants his team to fight back strongly – starting in Great Britain next week.
“Our aim for this year is clear: to fight for the victory. Words are not going to achieve that; we have to demonstrate our intention by giving our crews the best car to do the job,” he said.
“Turkey was a missed opportunity for us to assert our authority on the manufacturers’ championship. Instead, we find ourselves in a very intense battle with Toyota, and of course with M-Sport Ford also not far behind.”
Hyundai travels to the 11th round of the season looking for its first win in Wales and Nandan is hoping the team will continue its year-on-year improvement at the event in 2018.
“We have to approach Wales Rally GB with a strong mentality and utmost determination to show what we are capable of,” he explained. “We have made steady gains in this rally from one season to the next, with fourth places in 2014 and 2015, third in 2016 and second place last year.”