HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT DRIVER THIERRY NEUVILLE SAYS HIS COPEC RALLY CHILE ACCIDENT IS ALREADY FORGOTTEN AS HE LOOKS FORWARD TO VODAFONE RALLY DE PORTUGAL AT THE END OF THE MONTH.
Neuville will be back aboard a Hyundai i20 this week, preparing for next month’s Rally Italia Sardegna. Within hours of arriving back in the Concepción service park after Saturday’s huge crash, the Belgian and his engineers were working on a test plan.
Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul have watched and analysed the accident which destroyed the i20 and ruled them out of third place.
“It’s important to understand the crash,” said Neuville. “And I understand that I am definitely too fast in this place, but now I can put it from my mind. We feel very safe in the car and it’s not like you have a crash like this one very often.
“For the same price, we could have come through the corner, touched a tyre or something and got away with it. But this time we got properly shaken around.”
Looking forward to Portugal (30 May – 2 June), an event Neuville won last year, he said: “We will be fast. We have seen on the last events we are constantly improving with the team and our car is getting faster and stronger. The speed will be there in Portugal as well. I am already looking forward to it.
“The situation is definitely not the one we wanted. But we can look forward to the upcoming events. If we won’t be first in the championship, it gives us a better road position and more chances of a good result and the chance to fight back.
“If I could chose two rallies not to be first on the road, then for sure Sardinia would be the first one and, depending on the weather, Portugal would be number two,” he added.