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Tue 21 Nov 2023

Neuville left ruing Japan shunt

Hyundai Motorsport star Thierry Neuville left the final round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship ruing the missed opportunity for back-to-back FORUM8 Rally Japan wins.

The Belgian had leader Elfyn Evans in his sights when he crashed his i20 N Rally1 on Friday afternoon. That indiscretion sent him down the order from second place and 10 seconds behind Evans to 26th overall. Neuville rallied to finish 13th having won four from six stages – including the Wolf Power Stage – on the final day.


Neuville, who finished third in the championship for the third time in succession, said: “I’m quite happy this event is over now.


“It was still an enjoyable weekend, but we could have been in the fight for victory considering the speed we had. I’m really disappointed for that mistake but it is what it is, and I apologised to the team for it.”


Neuville is already looking forward to 2024, a year when he will have Ott Tänak returning to Hyundai.


He added: “We’re going to have another good season next year. We took eight podiums [this year], but we also had a couple of problems that cost us important points for the championship.


“We were really only targeting victories at the end of the season – sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn’t.”