More lessons learned by Thierry Neuville in Italy

Competing in the Qatar World Rally Team’s Citroën DS3 WRC, Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul finished Rally Italia outside the points. After going off on day two, the Belgian still feel that they have learned a great deal about the Sardinian stages.

Driving a DS3 WRC prepared by Citroën Racing Technologies, the Italian crew of Luca Pedersoli and Matteo Romano finished in tenth place overall.

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, Citroën Junior World Rally Team
Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, Citroën Junior World Rally Team

Photo by: xpb.cc

Renowned for featuring stages that are often rocky and narrow, Rally Italia Sardegna was made even more difficult this year by the variable weather conditions, which forced the competitors to keep switching between soft and hard Michelin Latitude Cross tyres.

After just missing out on a place on the podium in Alsace, Thierry Neuville had hopes of going one better here. The rally got underway on Thursday evening with two runs on a stage of around thirty kilometres.

Running in tenth position, the Belgian enjoyed a very clean racing line: “That helped us to get among the front-runners. I was pretty cautious on SS1 and then I pushed a bit harder on the second run. Although I was slightly hampered by the fading light, I set a fairly good time.”

Having ended Thursday in fourth overall, Thierry made a less impressive start to the second day. “I made a mistake on SS3. I wasn't sufficiently focussed and I misinterpreted one of the pace notes. We clipped the verge and the car ended up lying on its side.

We managed to turn it back over with some help from two stewards, but I burned my hand in the process.”

After losing six minutes as a result of the incident, Thierry retired for the day: “The engine had lost a lot of oil when the car was on its side, so we felt it was better not to take any risks and avoid breaking it altogether.”

After the mechanics and the doctors took care of the DS3 WRC and Thierry’s fingers respectively, the Qatar World Rally Team were able to return to the action on Saturday morning.

“First of all, I must thank the doctors, because without them I wouldn’t have been able to get back in the car. We learned a lot today. This morning, we were one of the first crews on the road and there was a lot of sweeping,” said Thierry.

“We worked a lot on the set-up to adapt the car to the conditions. I felt that I made clear progress on the second loop; we set three top 5 times in the afternoon.”

Thierry made it to the end of the rally after the two short stages making up Sunday’s final leg. He picked up one World Championship point by finishing third in the Power Stage.

“Obviously, the final outcome isn’t what I was hoping for, but I can only blame myself for that,” he concluded. “Like after every rally, I feel slightly better equipped for the future. I really need to finish the season on a high note.”

Competing in a Citroën DS3 WRC, the Italian Luca Pedersoli collected the point for tenth place. “It was a great honour to be able to drive such a fantastic car,” remarked the 2004 European Championship runner-up.

“The weekend was difficult for several reasons: I hadn't driven on gravel for several years, I had virtually no experience of the car beforehand and I’m not used to only doing two runs in recce.

I wasn’t very quick, but I kept out of trouble and I'm pleased to have made it to the end without making any mistakes. Finishing in the top 10 is a great bonus!”

Source: Citroën Racing

shares
comments
Hirvonen and Lehtinen win in Italy their first WRC Rally with Citroën

Previous article

Hirvonen and Lehtinen win in Italy their first WRC Rally with Citroën

Next article

M-Sport Ford adds Powell to Rally de España

M-Sport Ford adds Powell to Rally de España
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium Prime

Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Prime

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Prime

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021