Andrea Adamo says the performance level of cars and drivers in the World Rally Championship has “never been so close” as it is between Hyundai and Toyota in 2021.
Toyota has won three rallies to Hyundai’s one so far this season, though the i20 Coupe WRC was the faster car on last week’s Rally Portugal before leader Ott Tänak retired with damage to his car’s rear-right corner.
Thierry Neuville also finished third on round three in Croatia but was only 8.1 seconds behind rally winner Sébastien Ogier despite forfeiting half a minute to a wrong tire call on Saturday morning.
Speaking to DirtFish about Hyundai’s performance in Portugal, Adamo said: “At least it is also good sometimes to do a bit of show to cheer up the people because for once the performance of our car was really there.
“For once Thierry really told me the car is good, Ott told me the car is good and I really bring back home these positive things because they are important and there are still many races.
“From now until Japan the fans will really enjoy the season, we will have many things to say because the level of performance of the cars, of the drivers I think has never been so close and I think from Sardinia [next weekend’s Rally Italy] we will have the possibility to win from both sides.”
Though Rally Portugal ended up being a disappointment for Hyundai, which had held a 1-2-3 at one point on Friday, Dani Sordo did at least score important manufacturer points by finishing second.
Adamo, who insisted with a day of the rally to go that Sordo would win, said it was important that the three-time world rally winner was able to add to Hyundai’s total.
“Honestly we bring home thanks to Dani a second place where the start of the week was totally different and the opportunities were there but for different reasons we have not been able to bring home what was possible to do,” he said.
“Thank you for Dani because again another time, it’s like having I don’t want to say money in the bank because these days it’s not good, [but] let me say under the bed.”