Friday | 02 Oct 2015

Neuville rues early error in Corsica

Thierry Neuville will rejoin the Tour de Corse - Rallye de France on Saturday after an error on Friday's opening stage led to an early retirement.

Neuville won the 2011 edition of the Tour de Corse, when it was part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, and his prior experience made him one of the favourites to do well this week.

But his bid for a second victory came to an end just 1.2km into the first stage, when his Hyundai i20 slid wide into a low bridge and and collected right-rear suspension damage. The Belgian and his co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul attempted a roadside repair but were forced to admit defeat.

"I started on a high rhythm and tried to push because these are my favoured conditions - I like it when it is a bit slippery. But then, in a very tight left into a bridge I was a bit early turning in," Neuville explained.

"The speed was okay but [because I was] a bit early I had to open and turn again. I used the handbrake and I slightly hit a wall and we damaged something on the rear suspension. Two bolts were broken and we could not replace them. So it was retirement for us - much too early."

"For sure we will be back tomorrow, I think it's just a little damage, but obviously we now have a big time penalty," he added.

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