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WRC NEWS 

WRC Italy: Hyundai upbeat despite disasters when leading

Thierry Neuville, Hyundai, Italy WRC 2014

Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan refused to be downhearted about the i20 WRC's hero-to-zero performance on the opening day of Rally Italy.

After the fourth stage of the Sardinian event, the team was running one-two with Thierry Neuville just head of Juho Hanninen.

One stage later and Neuville had dropped 14 minutes with suspension issues, the Finn's car was rolled into a ball and 14th-placed Hayden Paddon was the Korean firm's top runner.

"Yesterday, we saw that the car was showing good performance," said Nandan.

"We have to consider that we had the good position on the road and we made the good tyre choice, but to have both of the cars in the top positions is a very good thing.

"Then everything happened in stage five - but these are things which can happen in the rally."

Nandan admitted his bigger concern was for the failure on Neuville's car.

"The problem of Thierry is a little bit more serious," he said.

"The bolt has broken which is holding the suspension on the wishbone.

"We have to analyse how this has happened, for now we don't know."

Hanninen destroyed his i20 WRC in a huge accident, the first time one of the Frankfurt-built cars has been written-off.

"I didn't see Juho's car yet," Nandan said, "but I spoke with the engineer and it sounds big."

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