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Hyundai won last time out in Italy, but it remains to be seen if they can turn around their poor Rally Finland of recent years. Dani Sordo’s victory in Sardinia was obtained through the misfortunes for other teams and the team believes the pace of their cars was not where “it should have been”. For Finland it is expected that new aero parts will be fitted. Testing was one day each for Thierry Neuville, Craig Breen and Andreas Mikkelsen. Breen becomes the team’s fifth driver of the year, while Loeb is absent, who competed the weekend earlier on the Alba Rally in Italy and reported to be on holiday, and Sordo not present. Neuville has his usual car (17), Mikkelsen has 18 – his car in Argentina and Chile - and Breen has 19, Loeb’s car in Chile. Hyundai drivers have only twice had a podium finish in Finland, with Neuville in 2013 and Breen in 2016, and Hyundai cars have never won this event.

Drive quotes:

Thierry Neuville “Finland is a challenging event, and one I enjoy driving. You have a lot of good sensations in the car and a lot of adrenaline, especially after the huge jumps. It’s what we drivers really love and I’m hoping it will be a good event for our team this year, as we aim to defend our manufacturers’ position. We are also only seven points from first place in the drivers’ championship, and our aim is to close that gap even further in Finland.”

Andreas Mikkelsen at Rally Australia in 2018. Photo: Peter Whitten

Andreas Mikkelsen “The road profiles in Finland are so different to any other rally: the surface is really hard. A lot of the roads are quite wide and it’s very fast with a lot of blind crests and jumps, so you have to be very committed and trust your pace notes. When you feel comfortable there, it’s the most beautiful rally in the world – but if you don’t, it’s the worst place on earth. We want to be back fighting at the front of the pack, just as we were in Sardinia.” Craig Breen “Rally Finland is very close to my heart. It’s the event I’ve done the most and this year marks ten years since I first competed there. I have a lot of amazing memories from the start of my career and my first podium there in 2016. It’s a rally I always enjoy with fast roads and flying in the forests. I’m really looking forward to it this year in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.”
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