Abiteboul: Lappi's and Neuville's reliability issues remind Hyundai of where the team is

The team principal of Hyundai Motorsport, Cyril Abiteboul, says that the two reliability issues are a harsh reminder of where the team is and underlines how important is for Dani Sordo to get to the finish line of Safari Rally.

The only African round of World Rally Championship did not start well for the Koreans as Esapekka Lappi was not able to complete a single run throughout the Shakedown session due to a propshaft issue. Despite his mechanics' efforts to repair his i20N with the view of doing three passes from SD, he was forced to stop again as the issue was not solved completely. In addition to that, his i20N suffered from the same problem on the first stage of Saturday afternoon which had as a result of his retiring for the rest of the day and losing his third place overall. He is the only one among his teammates that he won a stage in Kenya and was the top Hyundai driver until the time of retirement in Stage 11.

On the other hand, Thierry Neuville dropped to sixth from third when he suffered from a front-left puncture in Stage 3, but he pulled over 7.9 Km into Stage 6 when his suspension was broken after a compression. As he stated on Friday, the incident happened due to a missing screw from the top mount which had as a result for the damper to come looser and for the driveshaft and the power-steering to be taken off.

"Like yesterday, today is a harsh yet clear reminder of where we are", Abiteboul said. 

"We have suffered with extraordinary reliability issues and while it is only two, it is two too many. 

"When you look at the level of effort that went into the preparation from everyone and especially from Esapekka and Janne, it is very tough that we have been so strongly. 

"It was a challenging day for Thierry opening the road, but it is good to have him back in a points-scoring position and now we are aiming for maximum Power Stage points tomorrow. 

"It is so important to have Dani still in the mix for the manufacturers’ championship, so hopefully he can keep on building his speed and momentum".

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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