Mon 08 Jul 2024

Hats off to Sesks, praises WRC leader Neuville

Thierry Neuville has praised the speed shown by FIA World Rally Championship newcomer Mārtiņš Sesks at ORLEN 80th Rally Poland earlier this month.

While he ended the event one position behind Neuville in fifth overall, Sesks – who was debuting a non-hybrid M-Sport Ford Puma on the high-speed gravel event – stole two points from the championship leader by ending Saturday’s action 0.1sec ahead of him.

Latvian youngster Sesks also posted a top-two time on the rally’s second stage, where he was partially aided by road position.

“It’s definitely good to see,” said Neuville, who leads the championship by 15 points after round seven of 13. “When I came to WRC, I was cleaning the road all the time which is, for sure, sometimes a bit frustrating. But nevertheless, hats off, because he has done a really, really good job for his first time in the car on such a fast event.”

WRC's Polish leg signalled the first of three fast gravel rallies in a row, with Tet Rally Latvia and Secto Rally Finland next on the calendar. For Hyundai i20 N star Neuville, who confesses that he is less at home on such lightning-fast roads, the upcoming rounds will be crucial.

“I think, and really it’s no secret, that the biggest struggle for us is now,” he admitted. “We need to keep our head clear and follow the feeling.

“The positives are that, if we push, the speed is there, but we need good conditions. The points that you score on difficult weekends are the most valuable, and [in Poland] we scored a decent amount of points for such a challenging weekend.”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM