One of many key components that stood in the best way for Hyundai in its quest for victory in Rally Croatia was the tire choice made on Saturday initially of the second stage of the occasion.
Main the rally after the eight specials contested the day earlier than, Thierry Neuville noticed his lead soar in the course of the morning. Whereas he had a margin of seven “7 over Sébastien Ogier initially of SS9 and eight” zero over Elfyn Evans, the Belgian was handed by the 2 Toyota drivers from the primary time of the day. When he returned to service three levels later, he was nonetheless third, now 19.66 behind the seven-time World Champion.
This was the turning level of the race for the crew led by Andrea Adamo, costing them the chance to assert a second consecutive victory after that obtained by Ott Tänak on the Arctic Rally Finland in February.
Terenzio Testoni, accountable for Pirelli’s rally exercise, defined to the Italian version of Motorsport.com the explanations for this alternative of tires so detrimental to Hyundai on Saturday. And it seems that, at first, the choice chosen was something however reckless.
“I used to be by no means stunned by the selection of tires made by Hyundai for the Saturday morning loop”, explains Terenzio Testoni. “There may be at all times a purpose that sure issues occur. This alternative, Hyundai additionally made it as a result of on the primary day it allowed them to submit an excellent tempo within the first loop, within the morning.”
The info collected on Friday morning subsequently satisfied Hyundai to repeat an unchanged technique on Saturday, understanding that this primary loop had turned to the benefit of Neuville, creator of three scratches and chief with 7 “three on Evans and 12” three on Ogier on the break. Nonetheless, the completely different, extra aggressive asphalt profile on the SS9 to SS12 program performed towards the Alzenau-based crew.
“Hyundai was within the lead on Friday because of its option to cross onerous and mushy tires. That had been their profitable weapon. At Toyota, that they had for his or her half chosen the onerous tire. For the second loop, that of Friday afternoon, Hyundai selected the hards and they didn’t really feel snug. For this reason they determined to make the identical alternative once more on Saturday morning, particularly three mushy and two onerous. The issue is that the roads turned out to be extra aggressive than anticipated “, concludes Terenzio Testoni.