Thierry Neuville lastly took the lead within the normal classification at Ypres on the finish of the primary loop. Preceded within the first three phases by his team-mates, the Hyundai Motorsport driver took benefit of his greatest time signed in SS4, to take the lead for zero “four. With eight participations within the Flemish occasion, the native of the This stage has not but dominated the debates, the fault of a Craig Breen notably in legs firstly of the race. Regardless of this anticipated rivalry, he drew a optimistic outcome from this primary loop on his return to the park help, situated within the coronary heart of Ypres.
“A superb first lap. We’re fairly happy with the 4 phases that we’ve simply accomplished. I’m assured within the automotive, I’ve pushed at my very own tempo”, reported the chief of the overall classification. “There’s a technique to go sooner, however we shortly made a mistake on this terrain. A number of vehicles went into the wateringues [fossés en flamand, ndlr]. To this point the sensation is nice. “
Due to his information of the terrain, he was not anxious by the numerous pitfalls current all through the phases. Nonetheless, within the second particular he needed to cope with an surprising drawback along with his glasses, which paradoxically had higher conduct than his i20 Coupe WRC.
“It bothered me a bit, however it was nonetheless good to drive”, he defined. “They weren’t damaged, they only moved everywhere. I needed to make some changes. It was actually scorching within the automotive, and we sweated quite a bit. It acquired in my approach on the straights the place I needed to them. put it again in. Ultimately, I stayed centered and every thing went properly. “
If he didn’t widen a big hole within the lead in opposition to Breen, he nonetheless made an actual distinction in opposition to the Toyota drivers, Evans and Ogier being already pushed again to greater than 17 “and 30” respectively.
“I am a bit shocked on the gaps with the Toyotas. I assumed they might be a bit sooner,” conceded Neuville earlier than planning to repeat the phases already taken. “The second lap will likely be extra sophisticated so hopefully we’ll have some trouble-free phases once more and attempt to widen the hole a bit. “