Neuville: second place for Estonia, a draw, a win
Thierry Neuville scored his third podium finish in 10 years after finishing second at Rally Estonia. According to the Belgian rider, this is worth the win for him.
So far, Thierry Neuville does not have much experience in fast gravel racing, as he was only able to finish second at the Finnish Rally in 2013, and third at the Estonia Rally 2021.
Before this year’s Estonia Rally, he said several times that he doesn’t expect much success in Estonia or Finland this year either.
Despite this, he had a great time in Hyundai at the Estonian race and easily finished second, only he couldn’t fight with Kalle Rovanpera.
“In fact, this second place is tantamount to a victory, because Calle Rovanpera competed in a completely different dimension – said Thierry Neuville. “I am very happy with this result, and the best thing is that I felt really good in the car.” I was able to drive at a very good pace, and this is serious motivation ahead of the Finnish rally. “We have our own team and I’m getting more and more accustomed to driving on these types of roads. We’re trying to develop the car in the same direction as Esapekka Lappi and we’re using the same setup. We can develop as a team much faster than before.”
According to Cyril Abiteboul, Hyundai Motorsport team principal, a lot of progress has been made in terms of highway performance, but there is still a lot to do.
We haven’t caught up to Toyota yet in terms of sprint performance, said Abiteboul, but I think we’ve improved a lot. – I wasn’t present at Rally Estonia last year, but looking back on the race I saw that the team was nowhere to be found this weekend. There, Tanak fought hard last year and finished third, but now it’s easier for us to be fast. However, we have to evolve further if we want to be a worthy opponent for Toyota.”