For the second rally in succession, Thierry Neuville crashed out of the lead, with the Belgian damaging his suspension on Saturday night’s superspecial stage of Rally Sweden.
The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC driver was comfortably clear of the rest of the field until disaster struck, and having lost the chance of victory in the Rallye Monte Carlo due to a crash whilst leading, Neuville will now have to put yet more disappointment behind him and his team.
The crash happened despite the Belgian revealing that he and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were driving within themselves in order not to repeat their Monte Carlo disappointment, but he knows he has the pace to take rally victories, providing the mistakes can be eliminated.
“There are really no words that convey how I feel right now,” admitted Neuville. “It was a very sudden end to what had been a good rally for us.
“We had spent all Saturday with a deliberate strategy to take things steady and to stay in control of the rally. We didn’t want a repeat of Monte, but that’s exactly what we got. I am so disappointed for the team, for Nicolas, and myself but we have to put it quickly behind us.
“We can’t dwell on such things, however frustrating. We know we have the pace to win rallies with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. We have the confidence and I am sure the results will come.
“Tomorrow, we come back under Rally 2 and we’ll go for Power Stage points. We will then fight back again in Mexico.”