Thierry Neuville has described the climax to Rally Argentina as the most ‘nerve-wracking final few minutes of a rally in my career’ as he pinches victory from Elfyn Evans by just 0.7 seconds.
The Hyundai driver had been reeling in leader Evans throughout the second half of Rally Argentina but still trailed at the start of the Power Stage finale.
Having set the time for Evans to beat, he could only watch and wait for the DMACK M-Sport Ford driver to miss out by less than one second at the finish line.
Neuville, who has now secured back-to-back WRC wins for the first time in his career, paid tribute to Evans and says he would’ve taken finishing second to the Welsh driver after he made a poor start on day one in Argentina.
“I cannot believe it. I have never had such a nerve-wracking final few minutes of a rally in my career,” Neuville said. “It’s an amazing result and I have to say thanks first of all to the team for everything they’ve done.
“Congratulations also to Elfyn, who put up an incredible fight this weekend. I gave it absolutely everything I had in today’s final stages. After the difficult start to the rally, I would have been happy to take second but it’s a special feeling to win again.”
Neuville also clinched the Power stage win to collect five extra WRC points which leaves him third in the drivers’ championship but just two points behind Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Jari-Matti Latvala and 18 points behind leader Sebastien Ogier for M-Sport Ford.
“It has been an exciting but crazy rally from the start, so to come away with the victory is fantastic,” Neuville said. “We wanted to build up our momentum after Corsica and this was the perfect way to do just that.
“To have the Power Stage win is just the icing on the cake and gives us a very important boost in the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship. We could not have asked for more.