Emerging youngster Neuville will contest auto24 Rally Estonia from 20-21 July as part of his preparations for his Neste Oil Rally Finland debut, venue for round eight of the 13-event WRC season.
Citroen Racing Technologies director Benoit Nogier explained: “Finland is certainly the most difficult event for a driver who doesn’t come from the north of Europe. From Sebastien Loeb to Kimi Raikkonen, Citroen Racing has entered its drivers in additional rallies to those in the WRC to help them prepare for the specific challenges of the terrains in question. As replacing a test session by taking part in this rally doesn’t result in extra cost we felt that Rally Estonia was the best possible training for Nicolas and Thierry.”
Co-driven by Nicolas Gilsoul, Neuville is currently enjoying an upturn in form in the WRC following an indifferent start to his career with the Citroen Junior World Rally Team. He said: “With its crests and high-speed blind corners, Finland is like no other rally. In New Zealand we showed that we could run at high speeds without making any mistakes. I feel that I’m improving race after race, but I mustn’t relax and I must keep on working. It’s a great help to take part in a similar rally that’ll give us an idea of what to expect in Finland.”
Two of Neuville’s world championship rivals, Mads Ostberg and Martin Prokop, will also be competing on Rally Estonia in their Ford Fiesta RS WRCs.