Neuville: I'll push to the end
Thierry Neuville has pledged to keep up his championship fight at this week's Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, even though a recent run of miserable results has left his title hopes hanging by a thread.
The Belgian heads to the season's penultimate round lying third in the drivers' standings, 38 points behind leader Sébastien Ogier and one behind Ott Tänak.
With the final two rounds in Britain and Australia to come, and a total of 60 points still available, Neuville has a mathematical chance of being able to secure the drivers' title. But after two no-scores on the previous rounds, he would need a dramatic upturn in form in Britain to thrust himself back into title contention.
“We were dealt something of a harsh blow in Spain, but we are ready to fight back in Wales," Neuville said.
"It is a unique event on the calendar, a rally where weather conditions can really dictate performance and confidence levels. If it’s raining, windy and muddy, the stages become incredibly slippery. It is without doubt a tough event, but one that I relish.
"I have finished on the podium a couple of times, and get a buzz from the fantastic atmosphere. Driving at high-speed through the forest stages, sometimes in the dark, is just incredible. I intend to keep pushing right to the end of the championship.”
Neuville claimed the team’s maiden British podium in 2016 and prepared for this year's rally by testing his Hyundai i20 on Welsh roads this month.
Team principal Michel Nandan said his team was determined to end 2017 on a positive note.
“We finished on the podium in Wales 12 months ago with Thierry, which gives us a positive feeling for this year," he said.
"With Hayden Paddon, Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo also showing good form in Wales in the past, I hope we can enjoy a more trouble-free weekend and pick up a better result for our team compared to recent rallies.”
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