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Hyundai has left 'no stone unturned' in Belgium WRC prep

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo says his team has “left no stone unturned” in its Ypres Rally preparation as it bids to end its its World Rally Championship victory drought this weekend.

The Korean marque has led the last four rallies, three of those comfortably, only for misfortune and reliability to strike resulting in rivals Toyota picking up the win.

Suspension frailties struck Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak in Portugal, Sardinia and Safari, while a double puncture stymied pre-event favourite Tanak on home soil in Estonia last month.

The team’s only win this season came when Tanak triumphed on the snow at Arctic Rally Finland in February.

The i20 WRC has proven to be the fastest car this season and this weekend Hyundai arrives in Belgium as the favourites courtesy of home hero Thierry Neuville and teammate Craig Breen, who have previously won the challenging tarmac event in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

However, there is pressure on the team to close the gap to Toyota in the manufacturers' title race, while Neuville is desperate to eat into championship leader Sebastien Ogier’s 52 point advantage.

To ensure it was as prepared as possible, the Korean marque completed a four day pre-event test with Neuville electing to use one of his extra test days of his allocation fo this event despite being familiar with the roads.

Despite the preparation, Adamo is not taking anything for granted given the team’s recent misfortune and admits he is scared to be heading in as favourites.

“The test went very well. We did three days and then we came back with Thierry with another one,” Adamo told Motorsport.com.

“After the first three we went back home and did a bit more homework and then we came back one day with Thierry.

“We wanted to do all what is possible, as you say in the UK I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned so let’s see.

"If you see the last four rallies we have had an issue when leading at leas three out fo four with a big margin. We have had the chance before.

“I’m always scared to come to an event as favourite, I prefer to play the underdog. To come as a favourite is always freaky for me, whether you like it or not you have pressure on your shoulder and when you work under pressure it is not always nice.

“I think we have enough pressure to bring results due to the last four rally results.

“To be here is nice, we have drivers that have won the event in the past, but mamma mia its a lot of pressure.”

Adamo has faith in Belgian superstar Neuville to deliver, who enters the event as the overwhelming favourite due to his local knowledge of Ypres’ peculiar roads.

“He is a world class driver and he knows the roads very well so he has to show what has been shown many times already that he is world class and that he can manage the pressure and perform,” Adamo added.

“I think on top of everything just to put pressure on my own shoulder also the starting order is not so bad.”

Rally Ypres begins with eight stages on Friday, the first of which begins at 1236 BST (GMT +1).

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