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Rally Australia: Podium finish enough for Neuville to seal WRC runner-up spot

Thierry Neuville will secure the runner-up spot in the World Rally Championship if he can finish on the podium in the final round Rally Australia.
Thierry Neuville will secure the runner-up spot in the World Rally Championship if he can finish on the podium in the final round Rally Australia.

The Hyundai Motorsport took advantage of nearest rival Andreas Mikkelsen's technical issue by finishing third at Wales Rally GB, plus picking up an extra point on the Power Stage, to take a 14-point lead over the Volkswagen Motorsport driver into the 2016 finale.

As a result, irrespective of what either Mikkelsen or Hayden Paddon - who sits 17 points off his Hyundai team-mate - can achieve in Australia Neuville needs a top three result to guarantee second place in the drivers' world championship.

“We are just 14 points ahead of third and 17 points ahead of fourth so it will be tough, but I think it will be hard for them to beat us,” Neuville said. “I like this rally and have always had good speed here. We will try to keep it safe, but still go fast and get some important points for second place.

“We all love coming to Australia and it will of course be extra special this year as it is the last rally event on the calendar.

“Compared to Wales, the conditions will be very different. The gravel here can be a bit more abrasive and the temperatures will be much higher, so it will be a completely different challenge for both us and the car.

"It's great to come here in the fight for second place. Both Nicolas [Gilsoul] and I are really looking forward to trying to finish the season on a high note.”

On his Rally Australia debut in 2013 Neuville recorded his career-best result of second place on his way to finishing runner-up in the drivers' standings but his previous two outings as a factory Hyundai driver have both resulted in seventh place finishes in 2014 and 2015.
by Haydn Cobb



Related Pictures

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Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), TOYOTA YARIS WRC, TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT

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