WRC Belgium leader Neuville conscious “nothing is done yet”

Thierry Neuville is refusing to get ahead of himself despite being in the box seat to end Hyundai’s World Rally Championship drought with victory on home soil at Rally Ypres.

Listen to this article

The local hero realistically needs to just complete Sunday’s remaining four stages, held around the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit, to claim his first victory since the Monte Carlo Rally last year and Hyundai’s first since February’s Arctic Rally Finland.

Neuville has so far produced a faultless performance scoring seven stage wins to open up a 10.1s lead over team-mate Craig Breen, with Toyota’s Elfyn Evans some 42.4s adrift of the pair.

Hyundai team boss Andrea Adamo has instructed his drivers to bring home the one-two result to further ease the pressure on Neuville and Breen.

Read Also:

Despite being in a comfortable position Neuville is refusing to think about his victory chances given Hyundai has seen likely wins snatched from their grasp in the last four rallies. Neuville was seemingly on course for a comfortable win at the Safari Rally in June when his rear suspension failed on the final day.

“It feels good but I’m also conscious that there is still one more day to go, and there are going to be different stages and a new profile and setting,” said Neuville. “They will be very different to the stages we’ve had so far, so nothing is done yet. We have to be clever, but I hope we can have a nice day.

“Obviously the target for both of us [myself and Craig] will be to finish the day tomorrow without any trouble and bring home important manufacturers' points for the team, which could give us a boost in the championship again.”

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Neuville’s cautiousness has been echoed by team boss Adamo, who says victory is far from guaranteed.

“We have finished the day with a 1-2. It’s a pity that it’s not a 1-2-3 but Ypres is a rally full of tricky places, and Ott [Tanak] found one [with a puncture],” said Adamo. “There is a long trip to Spa-Francorchamps tomorrow, which will be very different stages and we will have some new tricks to master and to be mindful of.

“This rally is not over but it is, for sure, nice to be in this sort of position heading into the final day.”

A possible victory could re-ignite Neuville's title hopes having started the rally 52 points behind championship leader Sebastien Ogier.

Ogier could see his lead cut as the seven-time champion currently sits fifth in Belgium, but is only 4.3s adrift of the final podium spot.

shares
comments

Related video

Belgium WRC: Neuville in control while Toyotas fight for third
Previous article

Belgium WRC: Neuville in control while Toyotas fight for third

Next article

Belgium WRC: Neuville closes on win, puncture halts Ogier

Belgium WRC: Neuville closes on win, puncture halts Ogier
Load comments
How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off Prime

How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off

The new Rally1 hybrid cars made their competition debuts in Monte Carlo, but it was two semi-retired drivers who took centre stage in a thrilling battle between two of the World Rally Championship's most successful names. Here's how Sebastien Loeb completed a remarkable return on his M-Sport debut by beating reigning champion Sebastien Ogier

WRC
Jan 24, 2022
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Prime

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. We pick out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Prime

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Prime

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. We pick out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Prime

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against teammate Elfyn Evans.

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021