Thierry Neuville: “We are lacking luck”

Huge disappointment for Thierry Neuville, then solid leader of the Safari Rally Kenya, but forced to abandon this Sunday morning after a broken shock absorber.

Published on 27/06/2021 à 14:53

Pierre Tassel

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Thierry Neuville: “We are lacking luck”

It had to be the right one. After four third places in 2021, Thierry Neuville had victory in their sights this Sunday at the start of the final stage of the Safari Rally Kenya 2021.

The Hyundai Motorsport driver had a 57″ margin over Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota) before the final five SS. But in the first sector of Loldia, the failure of a shock absorber will put an end to the hopes of the Belgian and his teammate Martijn Wydaeghe.

A cruel outcome for the former Citroën driver who deserved much better after going through all the big pitfalls of the event, which hit the vast majority of his competitors.

“It’s a big disappointment, not only for me but also for the whole team, cowardly dejected Neuville. It's a tough time right now, collectively, to give up while leading for third rally consecutive.

Basically, we came into a very slow corner, and on the exit I suddenly felt something break on the car. We tried to finish the SS but upon investigation we saw that the shock absorber had exploded, and we had to stop there.

 

 

 

 

We knew it would be a difficult test, but we were prepared for it and did the work, Martijn and I in the car, the mechanics, everyone. I felt comfortable in the car, we were fast and controlled the speed throughout the event, so there are a lot of positives to take away.

The motivation is still there, but we are lacking luck, but we will bounce back, find solutions and come back stronger collectively. »

Hyundai Motorsport saves the furniture somewhat with third placeOtt Tänak and Martin Järveoja, the Estonian's second following his success on Arctic Rally Finland earlier in the year.

But for Andrea Adamo, the bad luck mentioned by Neuville cannot be highlighted. “This is the third consecutive rally where we have had problems, so it cannot be considered bad luck,” proclaims the Team Principal of the Korean team.

There are no excuses, this simply shouldn't happen. We need to understand what is happening. We have the same parts as last year, in rallies like Turkey and Sardinia. We have improved performance, but we lack reliability and we need to understand why. This is simply unacceptable. »

Discover the full report and analysis of the Safari Rally Kenya, produced by our special correspondent in Nairobi, in issue 2318 of AUTOhebdo, available tomorrow evening in digital version and this Wednesday on newsstands.

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