Hyundai Motorsport, drivers reactions

Here’s what Hyundai Motorsport drivers said about the action packed day 1 of 2014 Rally de Portugal. Just a reminder, three crews are among top 10 overall, Dani Sordo being the highest placed man in fifth spot.

Dani Sordo said: “It’s been a generally positive day for me and for the team. The Hyundai i20 WRC has felt good even if the conditions this morning were not too easy. The first two stages were very slippery and in all honesty I wasn’t so happy but it was good to take the stage wins, the first for the team, and to see the car in the fight. We were able to carry on setting a good pace this afternoon but we lost the sump guard on the penultimate stage so we had to take it easy in SS7. We hope to have another good day tomorrow with the focus on completing the stages without any trouble.”

Thierry Neuville said: “It was a mixed day for us and the afternoon was definitely better than the morning loop from my point of view. I had a lot more confidence in the afternoon because we worked on the set-up of the Hyundai i20 WRC over lunchtime and we made a good tyre choice. I decided to run the car stiffer on dampers for the second loop and I could feel the improvement almost immediately. That allowed me to increase the rhythm. It was great to take a stage win in SS6 and to improve our overall position by the end of the day. I hope there is more to come tomorrow.”

Juho Hänninen said: “It’s been an interesting day but one from which we have learned a lot. I hit a rock in the final stage of the morning which meant we had to stop and change the wheel. Then we had to stop when another competitor blocked the way. In the afternoon, the tyre choice was not so easy; I only had the hard tyres on the front for the final two stages which was not the ideal choice. I know we can be faster but it was tough to push any more with our pace notes today. We didn’t make any mistakes so we can be reasonably satisfied. We will make some set-up changes for tomorrow in order to try out a few new things.”