Fourth place finish after a trouble-free final day at the fast-paced Rally Finland
August 2, 2015 Our team has claimed its third consecutive top-four finish as Thierry Neuville completed the eighth round of the 2015 WRC calendar in fourth place overall.
After a difficult rally, our two remaining cars took a cautious approach through the two runs of the Myhinpää stage, adding valuable points to our Manufacturers’ points total.
A two-car finish was the teams revised target following the unfortunate retirement of Hayden Paddon on Friday. While our pace was not enough to challenge for the podium, we made many improvements throughout the weekend.
Thierry’s result helps to secure his fifth place in the drivers’ standings. He had a steady run after his shakedown crash on Thursday and ended with a strong result today.
To finish in fourth place is not a bad result considering the start we had to this rally, said the Belgian. The team did an incredible job to fix the car after our crash in shakedown and we have since worked hard to regain the feeling with the car on these fantastic stages. We couldnt really have expected anything better than fourth place this weekend. We cant be completely happy but its a decent finish and, most importantly, weve picked up some strong manufacturer points. Thanks to the team for their support this weekend. We must now look towards Germany and hope to challenge closer to the podium.
Dani was on course for a top-five result this weekend but an incident on Saturday’s afternoon loop saw him lose five minutes in a ditch. A resilient and determined drive allowed him to finish the rally in 11th place.
Its been a disappointing end to the rally for me, said the Spaniard. I was improving my confidence levels stage by stage and was enjoying fighting for fifth place. Unfortunately, we lost five or six minutes recovering the car from the ditch, which put an end to our ambitions for the top five. We had nothing to really push for today so we took it easy and brought the car home safely. We can now prepare for Rally Germany with optimism and we have some happy memories from last year! Im looking forward to it.
Rally Finland is always a test of the drivers and this weekends event has proved once again that a drivers confidence level can make all the difference. Our team worked hard to improve the performance of our Hyundai i20 WRC throughout the 20 stages and our fourth place finish is a step forward from the sixth place finish we had at last year’s Finnish event.
We can be reasonably satisfied with fourth place in Finland after a tricky rally which has required all drivers to really dig deep to build their confidence, commented Team Principal Michel Nandan. Following the disappointment on Friday when Hayden was forced to retire, we focused on getting two cars to the end of the rally and we have managed that although with a few incidents along the way. Thierry has worked calmly and steadily this weekend after his shakedown crash on Thursday and his fourth place is a reward for that approach. Dani was unlucky not to be in the fight for the top five but he lost too much time after his off yesterday. We must look at this rally closely to understand where we can improve as a team because our overall pace was not enough to fight for the podium positions, which is where we want to be. We will all look forward to Germany a special event for our team!