Thierry Neuville gave himself the perfect preparation for next week’s RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España (24 - 27 October) with victory at San Marino’s Rallylegend event in a Hyundai i20 World Rally Car at the weekend.
Neuville was one of three Hyundai Motorsport drivers present on the all-asphalt rally. Andreas Mikkelsen finished second in the WRC category, 1min 51.2sec behind, driving an older specification i20 run by a local preparation firm.
Irishman Craig Breen, the third driver present who has represented the Korean manufacturer this season, drove an ex-Colin McRae Subaru Impreza 555.
All three enjoyed the opportunity to thrill the huge crowds lining the route and Breen had the chance to compare times with father Ray who drove an MG Metro 6R4.
Neuville starts the Salou-based penultimate round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship 41 points behind Toyota star Ott Tänak.
He must outscore the Estonian by 12 points if he wants to keep his title hopes alive. To do that, he needs as much seat time as possible, which was what took him to San Marino.
Rallylegend delivered a plethora of stars driving some of the most exotic machinery around, ranging from Group 4 through Group B and Group A to Hyundai’s manufacturer championship-leading i20.
Italian legends Miki Biasion and Gigi Galli drove a Lancia 037 and Kia Rio RX respectively, while America’s last WRC star, Ken Block, was present in a Ford Escort RS Cosworth.