Thierry Neuville insists he won't be feeling any added pressure when he starts the Geko Ypres Rally today, despite his billing as one of his country's brightest hopes for the future.
Neuville, 21, hails from Hunningen in the far east of Belgium near to the border with Germany, approximately 300 kilometres from Ypres, where round sixth of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge will be taking place.
He will drive a Peugeot 207 Super 2000 run by the vastly successful Kronos Racing operation under the Team Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg banner in deference to backing from the two Peugeot importers.
"Ypres is the most important event of the year for me with lots of people in Belgium looking for my result," said Neuville. "But I don't feel under any pressure to try to win because of this. All I want to do is stay on the road and get some experience."
Neuville made his debut in a S2000 car on the event last season after being selected for the BFGoodrich Drivers' Team seat by a panel of Belgian journalists. He ran as high as fourth before a crash forced his retirement.
"Even though the stages can be quite hard it is a real pleasure to drive in Ypres and it's good that I have some experience of this event," said Neuville.
"I came to watch this rally with my family when I was 10 years old so it is nice to be here competing."