Wednesday | 13 Aug 2014

Germany win not in Neuville's sights

Thierry Neuville has ruled out a reprise of last year’s epic fight for victory with Dani Sordo at ADAC Rallye Deutschland (21 - 24 August).

Neuville, driving M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta RS, and Sordo, at the wheel of a Citroen DS3, started the final special stage just 3.0 seconds apart.

After being tied at the final split with 4km remaining, Neuville’s bid for a maiden WRC victory ended when he briefly went off the road and into the vines at a fast left bend. Instead Sordo claimed his first win at the 107th attempt.

This year the duo are team-mates at Hyundai, and the German-based squad will be focused on finding its feet on the i20 WRC’s FIA World Rally Championship asphalt debut.

Dani Sordo (left) and Thierry Neuville swap congratulations on the Germany podium in 2013

“We were close last year and I remember it very well,” Neuville told “We had a puncture and I went straight on at a junction but finally we could finish in second which was a nice result. This year we don’t have the same ambitions. Of course, I would like to have them, but at the moment we’re not ready to fight for a podium on every rally.”

However, the Belgian insists starting Rallye Deutschland, round nine of 13 in the FIA World Rally Championship, with no competitive asphalt experience in the i20 holds no fears.

“I had the same case last year with the Fiesta and I didn’t struggle at all. I was always an asphalt specialist so for me driving on Tarmac is very natural. I will be quickly in a good rhythm,” he said.

“The roads are narrow with a lot of cuts and dirt so the grip can change quite often and it’s a challenging event. You can get rain showers so tyre choice is important. You have to be well-prepared but I think a lot of drivers enjoy it and the fights are always close which makes it even more interesting,” said Neuville.

This year’s route heads close to the Belgian border so he can expert plenty of partisan support. “There is one stage that is 30km from my home so I guess there will be a lot of supporters from Belgium watching there,” he added.

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