Thierry Neuville claimed a cushty victory at Rally Ypres, which made his long-awaited debut on the WRC calendar this weekend. The Hyundai Motorsport driver, main a model one-two, edged his teammate Craig Breen by 30.7 to say his first win of the season. He additionally ended his staff’s poor streak, together with the reliability and dangerous luck have value victories within the final 4 rallies.
At residence, the Belgian received with seven quickest occasions on the occasion, which resulted in entrance of an enormous crowd on the well-known Spa-Francorchamps circuit. On the ultimate podium, Neuville was offered with the trophy by the six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Jacky Ickx, who had despatched him messages of help all through the weekend.
“Jacky, I’ve identified him for over 10 years and he is one of many guys who textual content me each rally”, Neuville stated. “I acquired one final evening [samedi] with plenty of emojis, flames and different stuff to say he believed [en moi], and I knew he was right here as we speak [dimanche] so I texted him again saying ‘see you tomorrow’, and I believe he acquired it proper. “
Having approached the occasion as a giant favourite, Neuville admitted it was a “aid” to clinch a victory ranked among the many better of his profession, and synonymous with a superb operation within the championship. This success and the three bonus factors of the Energy Stage even allowed him to take again second place within the championship, tied with Elfyn Evans (Toyota). The 2 males are 38 factors behind championship chief Sébastien Ogier, who completed fifth in Belgium.
“The sensation is mainly the aid to have received the occasion. We knew that everybody anticipated us to win this occasion or at the very least end on the rostrum, however our purpose was to go and win,” Neuville added. “We felt snug from the beginning, I wasn’t answerable for the race the entire time and it made me really feel snug. I did not have to go any quicker, j ‘Might have accomplished it if it had been crucial, however I used to be actually terrified of punctures to be sincere this weekend. It was the one large concern I had. It is a actually good feeling. It is a victory that we needed a lot and it’s also a victory which is vital for the championship as a result of we’re in a position to safe much more factors than Elfyn [Evans] and Sébastien [Ogier]. “
In 4 weeks, the WRC will return to the Acropolis Rally, which is able to return to the calendar after an eight-year absence. On the tough and overheated roads the place the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC has been comfy in recent times, Neuville could have the benefit of being one of many few WRC drivers to have already pushed in Greece.