Five in a row!

Hi, everybody! The more rallies, the more good results! We’ve just ended this race in third place and this is our fifth podium in a row! Sardinia’s roads really are characteristic: the ground is very hard and covered with a thick layer of sand, scattered with big rocks. In short, this is an especially tricky event, where you can crash easily… Many teams have experienced it this year again.

But let’s go back to our race. On Friday we were disadvantaged by our road position, since we were sweeping the road for the following drivers. Despite this, we managed to end the day in second position, thanks to a permanent fight. The car was perfect and Thierry had brought out the heavy machinery! It was the dream scenario to start the second leg with.

On Saturday morning, everything was going smooth. We set the fastest time in the 11th stage and were fighting for the victory. That’s when our breaks decided to let us down… and made us lose over a minute in Monte Lerno (and yet, we really limited the damage here!). 😐

After another incredible performance from our mechanics during the midday technical support, we were able to go back within the set time, with an i20 “as good as new”, for the second loop. But we weren’t able to catch up the leader the regular way and we ended up the day in third place.

No useless risk-taking and 2 bonus points in the Super Stage: so went our Sunday. In the end, there’s only positive: we scored good points for the championship and gleaned some from Seb Ogier.

Before I go, I’d really like to congratulate Ott Tänak, a driver we were already competing with in 2012, when we started off in WRC. He totally deserves this victory! 🙂« 

Next step: Poland. This is a super fast rally that Thierry and I really appreciate… and with the WRC 2017, we should be flying! 😜

In the meantime, we’ll be at the start of next Ypres Rally in our home country. Really looking forward to that.

The party goes on and on!

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! 😉