Having been handed a dream opportunity by the French manufacturer to contest the bulk of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship, Neuville has been told he will now complete the entire 13-round round schedule in a DS3 WRC.
With Nasser Al-Attiyah unable to contest Rally Italia Sardegna due to a clashing commitment, 24-year-old Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul have been drafted in to replace the multiple Middle East champion and his Italian navigator Giovanni Bernacchini in the Qatar World Rally Team entry. The Belgians performed the same role on Brother Rally New Zealand in late June (pictured).
“Competing in Italy will enable me to complete a full championship this season and I couldn’t have asked for any better in terms of building up as much experience as possible,” said Neuville, whose original campaign consisted of eight events and wasn’t due to include the gravel rally.
“I know the roads in Sardinia, having competed in my first rally in a four-wheel drive car there and I know how difficult and rough the gravel can be. But it’s yet another opportunity for us so we’ll do everything we can not to disappoint Nasser and the Qatar World Rally Team, who have once again put their complete faith in us. The best way of thanking them for this opportunity would be to secure a good result and we’ll be trying very hard to do just that.”
Rally Italia Sardegna is based in Olbia from 18-21 October and counts as the penultimate round of this year’s WRC.