WRC Rallye de France: Neuville laments turbo issues

Broken turbo puts Hyundai #1 driver Thierry Neuville on the back-foot after day one of Rallye de France
Hyundai's Thierry Neuville endured a tough start to Rallye de France on Friday with a broken turbo costing him 2.5 minutes.

Neuville was running fifth after the opening stage, but then lost power for SS2 and SS3, dropping to 21st position overall.

With his Hyundai i20 WRC fixed in the mid-day service however, he was able to fight back, finishing the leg 11th, 39.4 seconds off a place in the top-ten.

“It's been a mixed day for us and affected quite a lot with a turbo issue that we experienced in the morning loop,” said the Belgian. “We had a reasonable start, getting used to the car and the tyres but around 5km before the end of SS2 we had a sudden loss of power.

"I had already lost about ten seconds earlier on in the stage after getting stuck in a ditch but we were unable to cure the power loss problem, which carried all the way through the third stage. We lost a lot of time but the mechanics did a tremendous job to get us back into the rally for the afternoon.

“I was happy to be back and to make up some of the lost ground. For sure, we have a lot more to do tomorrow but I am confident we can do well.”

Meanwhile, Neuville's team-mates Dani Sordo and Bryan Bouffier both had better days and concluded it in fourth and eighth respectively.

“We've had a pretty solid start to the rally and it has been good to be once again behind the wheel of the Hyundai i20 WRC,” said Sordo.

“I wasn't totally happy in the first stage and we had a bit of a moment early on but we were able to pick up confidence and set good times in the subsequent stages. The car has generally been good and we had a trouble-free afternoon loop. There is always room for improvement so we will be looking for more pace tomorrow - but for day one I am quite happy.”

Related Pictures

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Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Thierry Neuville (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC

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