Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville kept his mathematical chance to fight for this season’s FIA World Rally Championship title alive by finishing in second in Turkey and was helped by winning the Power Stage on Sunday afternoon.
The Belgian, who had retired from both Estonia last time out as well as from Rally Mexico in March, is currently sitting fifth overall in the drivers’ championship points standings but is still 32 points behind Elfyn Evans.
“The overall feeling was disappointing, even though we had a strong performance throughout the weekend. There was momentum all the time and I didn’t make any bigger mistakes and we knew how to save tires well. Unfortunately, I struggle a bit on Sunday morning (a flat tire), the luck was not on our side,” Neuville said.
“I think we would have deserved a victory. However, it was not intended and I’m not the kind of guy who gives up before all the mathematical possibilities are gone. I’m going to push in full force for the last rallies,”
Several drivers had been having issues with the dust levels last weekend and Neuville admitted that this issue needs addressing in the future.
“The organizers and the FIA should really take care of the dust situation now. It’s not nice for anyone and no one feels safe, it’s all about luck, where the wind comes from and whether it’s visibility or not. It’s also not nice when the WRC victory is fought in such conditions,” Neuville continued.
“Another important point is the heat. It was very hot in the car this weekend and I felt a little shaky at the end of many stages. It always took about a quarter to recover from the heat. I’m in really good shape physically but it was really hot.”
His podium in Turkey was his second of the season after winning Rallye Monte-Carlo earlier this year.
The next rally is set to be Rally Italia Sardegna between 9-11 October.