Hyundai has never experienced a similar technical issue to Neuville's in the past

The team principal of Hyundai Motorsport, Cyril Abiteboul, reveals that his team has never seen before a similar technical issue to what appeared to Thierry Neuville's car today and will do a further investigation examining the data of his i20N.

The Belgian driver was second overall at the end of Saturday morning, but he lost three places in the afternoon as his i20N suffered from fuel-related issues. More specifically, he drove on EV mode and stopped twice in SS11 resulting in completing the stage after two minutes and dropping to fifth. Althought he and Martijn Wydaeghe did some repairs to their car immediately after the end of SS11 and they left with full engine for the start of Stage 12, the crew stopped 7.7 Km into SS12 and used the EV mode again, but this time they lost more than seven minutes. Moreover, Wydaeghe stated during SS11 that the i20N may have been suffered from fuel pressure problems, but Hyundai confirmed that the issue is related to the fuel supply. The most important thing for Neuville is that his main championship rival, Elfyn Evans, finished fourth on Saturday classification which means that the Welshman gained only two points more than Neuville if both of them finish Safari Rally on Sunday.

"Thierry’s issue in the afternoon is something we haven’t really seen before, so we need to have a look at the data and the fuel tank to understand what is going on", Abiteboul said. 

"It is very tough as he was in a good position. 

"While it is frustrating, we are only losing two points to Elfyn Evans tonight, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow, as the target remains to protect his lead in the championship".

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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