Hyundai Motorsport is ready for the Sardinia rally, round six of the 2015 WRC calendar
June 5, 2015 Hyundai Motorsport heads to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia next week after mixed success at Rally de Portugal in May. The Italian event was originally based in Sanremo before moving to Sardinia in 2004. The rally is known for its variety of landscapes and the fast and narrow roads leave no room for error. They are covered with slippery gravel that will be swept away on the first pass, making it harder for early starters.
Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo will be driving for Hyundai Shell World Rally Team and Hayden Paddon will be driving for Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team. Tyre choice will once again be a key factor in performance. Mid-June temperatures can be expected to go above 30°C, which will put pressure on driver crews and the cars. We tested for Sardinia in Portugal in April, and the Italian event will be the first time that our new paddle shift system is used in Haydens car.
Our team is motivated from Portugal, where Dani and Hayden finished in the top eight, said Team Principal Michel Nandan. We learned a lot last year in Sardinia so hope to show that we have improved. Thierry did not have good luck in Portugal, and will try his best to get back his rhythm. Dani will be looking to continue his success while Hayden is looking to build his speed and consistency. Sardinia is exciting and the challenging roads will make sure we stay focused.
Thierry has had a mixed season so far and is eager to make headway with a positive event. He finished 16th at Sardinia last year and will be aiming to improve this year. We had a good start to the race last time, said the Belgian. We did some good times and we were competitive. It is going to be interesting this year. You need a couple of years of experience before you can really be fast here because it is narrow, with twisty, dusty sections.
Dani is currently seventh overall and it will be his first time competing in Sardinia for our team. Sardinia is a special rally and a difficult one, said the Spaniard. It is unique because of the changes in the road between the passes, with grip levels changing a lot. I want to strengthen my position so will be working my hardest to finish all the stages in the fastest time.
This event will be an anniversary for Hayden, as the 2014 Sardinia event was the first race that he completed for Hyundai. I have come a long way since that first event, said the young Kiwi, and I am excited to get back out there! Last year I found the stages difficult but I think that was due to the fact it was my debut. The stages are technical and sandy definitely a challenge but we are going to try and get closer to the front.
Rally Italia Sardegna covers over 400km of Mediterranean gravel. It starts with a street stage in Cagliari on Thursday night and Friday will see stages in Oristano. Saturday includes over 200km of stages and will be the longest leg of the WRC since 2012. The service park will be hosted in Alghero for a second year and the Power Stage will be held at the beautiful Cala Flumini coastal run.