Monday | 26 Jun 2017

Video: Neuville's domestic drama

Thierry Neuville's star turn at Belgium's Ypres Rally went dramatically wrong on Friday's sixth stage when the local hero's car slid off the road and barrel-rolled four times.

Neuville and his co-driver Nicholas Gilsoul were uninjured in the crash but their R5-spec Hyundai i20 was left undriveable.

Up to that point the event had been a success for the Belgian pair, who were enjoying a rare weekend competing in front of fans in their home country. Neuville won the qualifying stage and opted to run fifth on the road, choosing to put himself in the middle of the pack fighting for the victory.

Friday consisted of eight stages and by stage five Neuville was leading by 2.9 seconds. But his time at the front came to an end at the start of the evening loop when he entered a left-hand corner too fast and, struggling for grip on the dusty surface, slid wide into a ditch before rolling into a field.

The car was recovered to the Hyundai service base where it was worked on for six hours. With the car repaired, Neuville and Gilsoul restarted on Saturday and were fastest on seven of the day’s stages to complete the weekend placed 35th overall. The rally was won by Neuville's former Hyundai team-mate Kevin Abbring in a Peugeot 208 T16.

"Very big thanks to my team - they did a massive work to repair our car," Neuville said. "[Saturday] was a great day and we enjoyed a lot! Want to say a big thank you to all the fans who were supporting us. You rock! It was really good to be back in town."

Neuville and Gilsoul will be back in their i20 Coupe WRC this week at Orlen 74th Rally Poland [29 June - 2 July].

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