World Rally Championship: Belgium’s Neuville’s first win of the season
Belgium’s Thierry Neuville nailed his first World Rally Championship win of the season in his home Ypres Rally after further extending his lead in the morning session today, Sunday (August 15).
After the first two of Sunday’s four stages Neuville led his Hyundai teammate, Craig Breen of Ireland, by 14.9 seconds. This would be Breen’s second consecutive podium.
“We knew it was a challenging day and there’s one more to come tomorrow in a different area and different kind of stages. Nothing is done yet but a big part of the rally has been managed by us very well so far. Of course, it’s always nice when you go more flat out, but we have to manage and be clever”, said Neuville.
Kalle Rovanpera of Finland leapfrogged his Toyota teammate, Britain’s Elfyn Evans, to move into third at 40.5 seconds behind the leader, with Toyota’s challenge down to just 3 after Takamoto Katsuta crashed his Yaris during the Dikkebus stage.
Sebastien Ogier, who leads the overall WRC standings, is in fifth position after suffering a left rear puncture on stage 17.
Located close to the German border, the Spa-Francorchamps race circuit is 40.52km, with sharp bends, country roads and challenging sections, with the Eau Rouge and Raidillon being the best known.
Neuville’s win, leading by 30.7 seconds, was his first since the Monte Carlo Rally in 2020, also the first wind for his new co-driver, Martijn Wydaeghe’s in the World Rally Championship.