FIA World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville heads in to the final two rallies of the season hoping to finish strong and fend off the pressure of the chasing Sébastien Ogier, who is just 7 points behind going in to the 2018 Rally de España.
Three out of the last four rallies have seen Ogier take advantage of Neuville unlucky run of results, a ninth, second, sixteenth and fifth place finish has been matched with the Frenchman’s fifth, fourth, tenth and victory last time out at Wales Rally GB.
“These two final rallies of the season are massively important for us in the championship fight.” said Neuville. “We have lost some ground in the past couple of events, but we are still on top and we won’t give up without a fight.”
Looking ahead to the rally next week Neuville knows it will be a hard task to take on the might of Ogier, who has won the rally three times and taken thirty-six stage victories, the Belgian on the other hand has a third place finish in 2016 and five stage victories.
“The opening day on gravel will be particularly vital in setting the tone for the rest of the weekend, so we have to start strongly.
“We know we have had some deficiencies on tarmac this season but we have worked hard on that and hope we can see the fruits of that hard work.”
The 54. RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada 2018 gets under way on Thursday 25 October with the crowd favourite Barcelona city stage returning to the event.
Follow The Checkered Flag throughout the event for updates each day.