Citroen's Thierry Neuville has described his sixth place finish on the Acropolis Rally as a 'breakthrough' result.
Although the Belgian has already managed to finish in the points this season - and did as much on the previous two WRC events in Argentina and Portugal, when he finished fifth and eighth respectively - until last weekend, he hadn't got through and got a top-ten without having to rejoin under the Rally 2 regulation.
In that sense then Greece was a welcome boost for the Citroen Junior World Rally Team man, who posted top-ten stage times in every single test, bar just one, including one second quickest time and two thirds.
“I'm really pleased with the result; first of all, I would like to thank Citroën Racing for their support,” Neuville commented. “The team really helped me to make the breakthrough and I have progressed again this weekend.
“This rally was the most difficult I have ever experienced, so I am all the more proud to have made it to the end.”
Neuville is now looking forward to Rally New Zealand, where he will stand in for Nasser Al-Attiyah, who has elected to miss the Auckland event due to his commitments at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I am happy with my weekend,” Neuville continued. “The rhythm was sometimes strange. The team, Nicolas [Gilsoul – my co-driver] and I, worked well though. The set up was always in the right direction.
“We wanted to see the grip in different conditions, and we also wanted to work on the set up and the tyres. We have learned a lot. During the rally I was always thinking of my goal, which was to finish the rally without Rally 2. Some stage times showed that we are here.
“[Overall] it was good. I hope in New Zealand we can push a little bit more now. I want to learn. I want to be a world champion one day and we are working on it,” he concluded.