Thierry Neuville relieved to stay in the lead after a final Dantesque ES

Despite the arrival of rain in the last special, Thierry Neuville maintains a clear advantage at the end of the third stage of Safari Rally Kenya.

Published on 26/06/2021 à 19:18

Pierre Tassel

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Thierry Neuville relieved to stay in the lead after a final Dantesque ES

Thierry Neuville is in an ideal position heading into the final day of Safari Rally Kenya. © DPPI / F. Flamand

The rain made a sudden appearance at the end of the day at Safari Rally Kenya, putting real pressure on the last favorites to set off on the famous Sleeping Warrior course.

Among them, the leader Thierry Neuville a su se tirer des pièges proposés par la spéciale, pour émerger en tête du général avec une avance confortée de plus de 57″ sur Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota), Ott Tänak having lost big with visibility problems, the fault of persistent fogging and ventilation not functioning normally in his i20 Coupe WRC.

After seeing a giraffe up close in the first passage, Neuville and his teammate Martijn Wydaeghe can consider themselves lucky to have been able to get through this final ES without any problems.

“No matter how, maintaining position was the most important thing today, confesses the Belgian. We pushed hard over the last two days to be in front, so I fought hard and refused to lose the position.

I knew other riders had had rain in the stage, but I was already in wet conditions after just 3km. I realized I was already wasting time, and it was only going to get worse.

I was determined to keep riding as fast as possible, even in the four or five sections where there was a heavy downpour. Keeping the car on the road wasn't easy but we managed it and now we can focus on the final day.

It's going to be even more difficult, but I enjoyed these reconnaissance stages, so I hope we can have a trouble-free race and secure the victory. »

A victory which would be the first for Neuville in 2021. But be careful, anything can happen tomorrow. " This rally still reserves other surprises, tempère ainsi Andrea Adamo, Team Principal de Hyundai Motorsport. Tomorrow's stages will be much worse than today, maybe similar to Friday, so anything can still happen.

We knew Safari Rally Kenya would be difficult. We need to stay calm and handle things as best we can. »

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