Thierry Neuville has hailed his maiden victory on Rallye Deutschland this weekend as 'unforgettable'.
Neuville looked like he might have to skip the event after his major crash in the shakedown on Thursday, but his mechanics put in a remarkable 18-hour shift to fix his Hyundai i20 WRC in time for the start on Friday morning.
Despite a few car issues on the opening day, he finished in fifth and then stepped it up a gear on Saturday, hauling his car up to third, just 4.3 seconds behind Kris Meeke in second. Then when overnight leader Jari-Matti Latvala and Meeke both went out this morning he was elevated into the lead and he kept his focus to bring it home in P1.
It was his and Hyundai's first victory - and Neuville also took two extra points for coming home second in the Power Stage as well.
“I am really happy for the entire Hyundai Shell World Rally Team and everyone back at the factory in Alzenau. Everyone has worked so hard in the past year to get us to where we are this season so to celebrate my debut WRC win with them is very special,” Neuville commented.
“It is even better that we have a 1-2 in our home event. I am particularly thankful for the team's hard work this weekend. They did a fantastic job after our roll on Thursday to get the car repaired which makes this result more incredible.
“We have had three competitive days and we have been able to put the pressure on. Of course, it was a shame to see Jari Matti [Latvala] and Kris [Meeke] retire this morning, but that reinforced the need for us to remain focussed and concentrated. The conditions were very difficult so we had to take it steady to the end. It's a great result and one which we will certainly never forget.”