Hayden Paddon continues to hold second overall; Dani Sordo maintained sixth and Thierry Neuville returned to form with another huge 44-metre jump over Colin’s Crest.
February 13, 2016 We have strengthened our hold on second place at this year’s Rally Sweden with Hayden on stunning form for a second day running.
Today’s five stages saw more of the snow that usually characterises Rally Sweden. They included two runs of Vargåsen with its Colin’s Crest jump, and a Super Special Stage in Karlstad. Only the Power Stage remains tomorrow.
Hayden significantly reduced the time between himself and the rally leader, closing the gap to just 8.8 seconds after SS10, Vargåsen 1. However his focus for tomorrow will be holding onto second place.
We have to be happy with today and our position at the end of this penultimate day, commented the Kiwi. We made the most of our starting position this morning, with those running ahead of us helping to clean the road a bit. We just focused on our own thing and were able to close the gap. There wasnt as much of an advantage in the stages that followed but we were still able to keep hold of second that is very much our target for tomorrow. We cant necessarily fight for the win on outright pace but a podium would be a great result we have one stage left to make that happen.
Dani was involved in a close fight for a podium until a puncture cost him about a minute on the first stage of the day, SS10. He fought to maintain sixth overall and will seek to add as many points as he can tomorrow.
We started the day hopeful to fight for the top-three but unfortunately, about four kilometres from the end of the opening stage, we had a puncture after hitting a rock on the line, admitted the Spaniard. That lost us a lot of time and put an end to us being part of the battle up front. Conditions were very tricky today and we werent able to find the confidence to attack. Still, we are in the top-six and will concentrate on securing this position.
After yesterday’s transmission problems, Thierry had a largely trouble-free day apart from a broken damper at the end of the second Vargåsen stage. He also matched his 2015 distance through Colin’s Crest with a stunning 44-metre jump!
We needed the opening stages this morning to rebuild our confidence in the conditions and in the New Generation i20 WRC after yesterdays troubles, said the Belgian. We werent in the fight for a meaningful result so focused on getting a good feeling behind the wheel. We had a small misunderstanding with the pace notes on the first stage but after that it was an OK day. I was hoping to defend my record through Colins Crest and thought wed done enough with another 44-metre jump unfortunately it wasnt enough. We will continue to do what we can to move up the overall classification but with only one stage tomorrow, we know it will be hard.
Weve had another day of mixed fortunes for our three drivers, commented Team Principal Michel Nandan.Hayden has had another fantastic day, working very well to make the most of road position advantages to reduce the gap to the rally leader. Our focus is not on fighting for the win, although it has been good to see our New Generation i20 WRC again show its potential to be quickest on stage. We are aiming to defend second place, which will be a very good result for the team and, of course, for Hayden. Anything can happen, even with just one stage left, so we have to remain cautious. Dani is still inside the top-six despite his morning puncture. Thierry, meanwhile, has had a generally good run today, although he suffered a broken damper at the end of the second run through Vargåsen. Lets hope for a trouble-free final stage tomorrow and I hope to see Hyundai Motorsport colours on the Rally Sweden podium again!
Our team will fight to achieve maximum points on the Värmullsåsen Power Stage tomorrow, as well as securing our first-ever consecutive podium finishes!