The rallies keep coming and so are the great results! It really is super motivating to see that our hard work (and Hyundai’s) is bearing fruits. Portugal… aaaah, Portugal! I’m not going to lie to you, this rally never really worked out well for us. It’s always super complicated to find the appropriate pace in here; the sandy roads require a sideways driving, which isn’t Thierry’s “natural” style. In order to go really fast, risks need to be taken and numerous cars went off this year again.
After the Super Stage on Thursday evening, we decided to follow the pace of the bests on Friday… trying not to make any mistake. Everything went great until the 7th stage. During this one, we got stuck in an opaque dust cloud; we couldn’t see a thing! We catching up with Jari-Matti, who got delayed after his car rolled over, and the Toyota’s dust was literally blinding us. In such cases, the key is to keep a cool head, calm your pilot and call the radio while keeping reading your notes… some might call that a party!
This unfortunate event cost us about 20 seconds, but the organiser looked at the images and corrected our time: we were then in fourth position.
On Saturday morning, the Fords were untouchable, and we should have taken inconsiderate risks in order to catch Ogier. Nevertheless, we got two fastest times and ended the day in second position, right behind the four-time world champion.
The 4 stages on Sunday were too short to fill the gap, but we kept driving at a great pace… and we took 4 more points in the mythical Fafe Power Stage. Thierry was pushing hard and I have to admit that when we touched the ground after the Jump, I wasn’t totally at ease
In the end, this second place is a great result and we are definitely in the race for the title. We also want to dedicate our performance to our car chief and our 3 Portuguese mechanics… once again, the whole team did an amazing job!
I’ll see you in Sardinia, for a rally that Thierry and I particularly appreciate. More fun to come!