Neuville denies he'll try to slow Ogier in Germany

World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville insists he will not compromise his own Rally Germany chances to spoil title rival Sebastien Ogier's event.

Neuville denies he'll try to slow Ogier in Germany
Thierry Neuville, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Andreas Mikkelsen, Anders Jäger, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Andreas Mikkelsen, Citroën World Rally Team

Neuville's Hyundai will be first on the road this weekend as he leads the WRC standings on countback.

Recent wet weather - with more rain threatened overnight - means the first car onto the stages on Friday's opening leg will have a significant advantage.

Neuville could make road conditions worse still for those following by cutting corners more to drag further mud onto the stage, a tactic exemplified by Sebastien Loeb on Rally France in 2010 - when he took almost a second per mile out of his rivals at times.

But Neuville was adamant he would not adopt that tactic despite Ogier being behind him on the road.

"There are a lot of cuts and so the road will get dirty, but I won't take more risks [with getting a] puncture just to make the road more dirty," said Neuville. "If I drive fast, I know the time will be good.

"With the cuts we'll be taking, the road will be dirtier and make it more tricky for him [anyway]."

Neuville added that winning the rally was secondary on his mind compared to the title fight.

"We have to be clever," said Neuville, who took his and Hyundai's first WRC win in Germany three years ago.

"We have to watch the progress of our rally against Ogier and focus on him. The target remains to finish ahead of him to get more points rather than try to win."

Neuville leads Ogier in shakedown

Neuville was fastest on Thursday morning's 3.18-mile shakedown stage near Eiweiler, 1.2s up on Ogier - whose M-Sport Ford was third behind Citroen returnee Andreas Mikkelsen.

Citroen had an encouraging shakedown, with Kris Meeke and Craig Breen fourth and fifth.

"Second-fastest time is fairly promising," said Mikkelsen.

"After [we set that time] mud and stones were dragged onto the racing line and it was impossible to improve.

"I hope it won't be the same thing tomorrow, because all three Citroen cars are starting quite well down the order."

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