Which obstacle Neuville must overcome in Sardinia apart from the other challenges?

Thierry Neuville names the difficulties he will face next week saying that the main obstacle for him is to find the proper set-up since Hyundai did not test in Sardinia and the Shakedown session is not representative for the rally.

The Belgian driver heads to Rally Italia Sardegna with a 24-point advantage over the second Elfyn Evans and will start first on the road again as he is the championship leader. However, the Italian round of WRC has been modified for this year as the Shakedown will be held on Friday and the rally action will continue with four stages and 77,82 competitive kilometers on that day which means that the drivers and the teams have now less time to prepare their cars properly for the stages. In addition to that, the mechanics have to come up with solutions in a short time to help the crews to be more competitive and more confident with their cars on the opening day of the rally. Sardinia hosts traditionally one of the most demanding rallies in the sport due to the high temperatures and the rough gravel profile of the stages while it must be mentioned that there will be no tyre fitting zone or midday service on Friday after the end of Shakedown. Last but not least, Sardinia is Hyundai's territory as the Alzenau-based team has won six times and has claimed 14 podiums and 88 stages wins the last decade.

"Rally Italia Sardegna is a very technical rally, so we need to have a faultless drive across the weekend". Neuville said. 

"We need really accurate pacenotes and a good setup; the difference in stages between the first and second pass can be huge, so we need to be able to adapt the car to those changes as well. 

"The heat, tyre wear and length of the days are some of the biggest challenges we face throughout the event. 

"This paired with the little amount of sleep we get due to long road sections makes it a unique challenge. 

"Our approach to the weekend is the same as usual: we will be pushing for the best possible result considering the conditions, car and other important factors that can influence a rally. 

"There’s no pre-event test and shakedown is not representative at all of the remainder of the rally, so that will be the biggest obstacle for us. 

"However, we will work to overcome this and bring home the best result possible".

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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