Thierry Neuville

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Thierry Neuville
2014 Rallye Deutschland by 2eight 8SC0443.jpg
Thierry Neuville, 2014
Personal information
Nationality Belgium Belgian
Born (1988-06-16) 16 June 1988 (age 30)
St. Vith, Belgium
World Rally Championship record
Active years 20092010, 2012–present
Co-driver Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul
France Nicolas Klinger
Teams Citroën Junior, Qatar, Hyundai
Rallies 94
Championships 0
Rally wins 9
Podiums 33
Stage wins 168
Total points 969
First rally 2009 Rally Catalunya
First win 2014 Rallye Deutschland
Last win 2018 Rally Italia Sardegna

Thierry Jean Neuville (born 16 June 1988) is a Belgian rally driver. He is currently competing in the World Rally Championship. His co-driver was Nicolas Klinger from his debut until the end of 2010. Klinger was replaced by Nicolas Gilsoul for the first 2011 IRC rally, Monte Carlo. Since 2014, Neuville and Gilsoul have driven a factory-backed Hyundai i20 WRC for Hyundai Motorsport.[1]

Rally career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Neuville was born in the German-speaking municipality St. Vith, Belgium, on 16 June, 1988.[2] He drove his first rally when he was 19 years of age, in 2007, his debut rally car was an Opel Corsa he piloted on an event in Luxembourg.[3] For the 2008 Rally Finland, he was entered in a Ford Fiesta ST[4] and would have made his WRC debut, but he did not start the event. Instead, he made his WRC debut at the 2009 Rally Catalunya with a Citroën C2 R2.[5]

2010–12[edit]

Neuville driving a Citroën DS3 WRC at the 2012 Rallye de France.

Neuville drove a self-entered Citroën C2 at the 2010 Junior World Rally Championship, collecting a win, a third and three retirements to finish seventh in the standings. He also competed in six rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge with a semi-works Peugeot 207 S2000, scoring a third place at Ypres and a fourth place at Sardinia.

In 2011, Neuville competed full-time in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, again driving a semi-works Peugeot 207 S2000. He took his first two victories in the Tour de Corse[6] and Sanremo. He finished the season in fifth place.

Citroën signed Neuville for the 2012 World Rally Championship, driving selected races in a Citroën DS3 WRC for the Citroën Junior Team.[7] Neuville replaced Nasser Al-Attiyah in the Qatar World Rally Team for New Zealand as Al-Attiyah was unable to participate.[8] Another outing for the Qatar team in Sardinia meant Neuville contested the full season, driving eleven races for the Citroën Junior Team and two for the Qatar World Rally Team.[9] The Belgian scored points in six races, with fourth at Alsace as his best result, and finished seventh in the championship.

2013[edit]

Neuville en route to second place at the 2013 Rally Finland.

Neuville joined Qatar for the 2013 season, now driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC.[10] He retired for the third time in Rallye Monte-Carlo, after going off track on the third stage. In Rally Sweden, he got off the mark by scoring a fifth place on a surface he lacked experience on. Then, in Mexico, he was one of the men of the rally, getting his maiden podium finish (third place). Round four, Portugal, was disappointing, since he finished out of the points, after returning to the rally in Rally 2 after retiring from fifth place. Fifth place was again for Neuville, in Argentina. Then came a streak of podiums which turned Neuville into the surprise driver of the season: third place in Greece and second place in Italy, Finland, Germany and Australia.

At Rallye Deutschland, which Neuville considers his home rally, the Belgian was in second place during the second day, trailing Jari-Matti Latvala just for a few seconds. But in a surprise twist, Latvala left the road and Neuville did the same thing right after him. Neuville led the rally for a stage, but eventually, and in the second to last stage of the day, he lost the lead to Dani Sordo. The next stage of the day was cancelled, so the drivers entered the final two stages separated by just eight tenths of a second. The penultimate stage was won by Sordo, which left the Spaniard three seconds ahead of Neuville in the overall classification. Both gave everything in the PowerStage and Neuville eventually had a small off in the very last section of the stage, therefore losing the chance to win. He ended in second place, 53.0 seconds behind Sordo.[11]

At Rally Australia, Neuville was in third place, 25.2 seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen, before the PowerStage. With Sébastien Ogier comfortably in the lead, he needed to finish in second place overall and in the PowerStage in order to still have a mathematical chance at the title. Hirvonen punctured in the stage, allowing Thierry to finish in second overall and second in the PowerStage. After this dramatic finish, a frustrated Ogier and Neuville were the only ones still with a chance for the title, although Ogier only needed to score a single point in the remaining three rounds. Ogier eventually secured the title in the next rally in Alsace by taking a point on the Power stage, which ran as the opening stage of the rally.[12] A podium for Neuville in the last rally of the season in Wales secured his spot as second in the championship, ahead of Latvala.[13]

2014[edit]

Neuville at the 2014 Rallye Deutschland.

On 5 November 2013, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH confirmed it had signed Neuville on a multi-year deal to lead its entry into the WRC from 2014.[14] After the halfway point of the 2014 season Neuville had scored 2 podiums for Hyundai and ran sixth in the overall standings.

Thierry Neuville rolled six times during the shakedown of the ADAC Rally of Germany, stopping in the vineyards. The car was repaired and Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul finished the rally in first position. That was Thierry Neuville and Hyundai Motorsport GmbH's maiden win in the WRC.[15] Previous year's winner Dani Sordo, who was now his teammate, finished second, so it was not just Hyundai's first win, but also a double victory.

2015[edit]

Neuville at the 2015 Rally Sweden where he finished second.

Neuville started the 2015 season strongly, finishing fifth and second in Monte Carlo and Sweden respectively. He finished eighth in the third round in Mexico but had been battling for lead with Ogier during the first day before going off the road.[16]

The remaining events of the season were disappointing for Neuville. After a crash on the last stage of Rally Argentina, his confidence took a knock and he could only manage one more podium, which came in Italy. His teammates, Sordo and Hayden Paddon, outperformed Neuville during the last events of the season but he still managed to finish above them in the standings. He finished the season in sixth place.

2016[edit]

Neuville at the 2016 Wales Rally GB.

The 2016 season started with a podium in Monte Carlo, as Neuville finished third with a new rendition of the i20.[17] But the podium was followed by a mechanical issue in Sweden and crashing out in Mexico, meaning he would score no points in those events. In Portugal, while lying fifth, he ran out of fuel while on a stage caused by a miscalculation by Hyundai and his car ended up stranded.[18]

But in Sardinia, Neuville was back in form. By winning nine of the 19 stages, he won the rally and finished roughly 25 seconds ahead of a pushing Jari-Matti Latvala. After the rally, Neuville paid tribute to his former mentors, Philippe Bugalski and Jean-Pierre Mondron. Bugalski, who died in 2012, was born on the same date Neuville won the rally, while Mondron had died two weeks before the rally.[19]

On 5 October, it was confirmed Neuville would extend his deal with Hyundai until the end of 2018. Despite rumours suggesting him considering other options, he decided to stay with the Alzenau-based team for 2017 and 2018 when new regulations for the competing cars would enter.[20]

He finished the season with five podiums out of the last five events, securing the position as runner up in the championship with 160 points.

2017[edit]

Neuville won the 2017 Tour de Corse, his first rally victory of the 2017 season.

In 2017 Neuville and his teammates Paddon and Sordo started with yet another new version of the i20, the i20 Coupe.

The season however started badly for the Belgian, finishing the first two rallies in 15th and 13th, having led both rallies before crashing. He finished the power stages in both rallies in first and third, still scoring eight points. After finishing the Rally Mexico in third place Neuville won the Tour de Corse and the Rally Argentina, becoming a world championship contender against Sébastien Ogier. In Portugal, both fought for the victory and Ogier won. Then, in Sardinia, where he had won in the previous season, Neuville only finished third, however, ahead of Ogier who finished fifth. His next victory came in Poland, and then, in Finland, Neuville only finished sixth, however, after his arch rival Ogier retired, it was enough for Neuville to take the championship lead for the first time in his career.

Heading into the 2017 Rallye Deutschland, Neuville's goal was to retain the championship lead. However, a small impact on the first stage of the second day was enough to damage suspension and transmission of his car which resulted in having to retire from the day.[21] Neuville was third before the accident and in front of Ogier who was fourth after the first day. He aimed to salvage points on the Power stage but could only manage sixth fastest, meaning he would score no points for the first time in 2017. Ogier retook the championship after finishing third and opened a 17-point lead over Neuville.[22] Lightning then struck twice for the Belgian, as a lackluster performance in Spain ended when he clipped a rock on stage 16 and broke the steering, leaving him pointless for the second rally in a row and dropping him to third in the standings behind Ott Tänak.

Neuville retook second place in the driver's standings in Wales, as he finished the rally in second position while Tänak finished sixth. Unable to match the pace set by rally winner Elfyn Evans, who used DMACK tyres, Neuville was the fastest of the drivers competing on Michelin. He finished ahead of Ogier, who was third, but the two extra points Ogier scored on the Power stage meant the Frenchman was crowned world champion for a fifth consecutive time.[23]

At the final rally of the season in Australia, Neuville took his fourth win of the season. The event was characterized by changeable conditions but after initial leader Andreas Mikkelsen suffered a double puncture, Neuville held off Latvala who was his closest challenger for most of the rally, the Finn eventually crashed on the last stage. The win meant Neuville secured the runners-up spot in the standings for the third time in his career.[24]

2018[edit]

Just as in 2017, Neuville's season started with a mistake at the season opener in Monte Carlo. On the first stage of the rally he lost control of his i20 and got stuck in a ditch, the excursion cost the Belgian four minutes and ruined his chance of a rally win.[25] As the rally progressed, he fought his way up the standings and eventually finished fifth.[26]

Neuville won the 2018 Rally Sweden.

In Rally Sweden, he was the fifth on the road at the opening day, which meant he had more grips than the drivers who start ahead of him. That gave him a chance to fight for the victory. Eventually, he took his seventh win and first on the snow in the WRC, though he had an electrical glitch with his Hyundai's paddle shift gearchange system in Saturday morning and made a few small mistakes. After winning the rally, he led the championship by ten points, ahead of defending world champion, Sébastien Ogier.[27] The win meant Neuville became the third non-Nordic driver to win the Swedish Rally.[27]

The lead of the standings was short-lived, as Ogier won the next rounds in Mexico and Corsica. In Mexico, Neuville endured many technical issues with his i20 Coupe and achieved sixth as a result.[28] While in Corsica, Ogier extended his lead in the championship further when Neuville finished behind him in third.[29]

Neuville beat Ogier to the podium in Argentina when he finished second, but the rally was won by Tänak.[30] After Tänak's mixed start to the season, the Estonian's win in Argentina meant Tänak had emerged as a title contender along with Neuville and Ogier.

In Portugal, Neuville secured his eight win in the WRC and inherited the lead of the championship when both title rivals Ogier and Tänak hit trouble and scored zero points.[31] Along with four extra points from the Power stage, Neuville's victory lifted him to first place in the standings, 19 and 47 points clear of Ogier and Tänak, respectively. In the next event, Rally d'Italia Sardinia, Neuville won again. Ogier had led most of the Sardinian rally but Neuville eventually beat the Frenchman to the win on the very last stage with a margin of seven tenths of a second, equalling the third closest win in the WRC which was set by Neuville in Argentina, 2017.[32]

Just before Rally Turkey, it was announced that Neuville, along with Gilsoul, had signed an extension with Hyundai to drive for the team until the end of 2021.[33]

Rally victories[edit]

WRC victories[edit]

 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Germany 32. ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2014 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 WRC
2 Italy 13º Rally Italia Sardegna 2016 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 WRC
3 France 60ème Tour de Corse – Rallye de France 2017 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
4 Argentina 37° Rally Argentina 2017 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
5 Poland 74th Rally Poland 2017 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
6 Australia 26th Rally Australia 2017 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
7 Sweden 66th Rally Sweden 2018 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
8 Portugal 52° Rally de Portugal 2018 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
9 Italy 15º Rally Italia Sardegna 2018 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

JWRC victories[edit]

 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Bulgaria 41st Rally Bulgaria 2010 France Nicolas Klinger Citroën C2 S1600

IRC victories[edit]

 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1 France 54ème Tour de Corse-E.Leclerc 2011 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Peugeot 207 S2000
2 Italy 53º Rallye Sanremo 2011 Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul Peugeot 207 S2000

Results[edit]

Neuville at the 2010 Rallye de France.
Neuville on a stage at the 2016 Rally Sardinia.

WRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WDC Points
2008 Thierry Neuville Ford Fiesta ST MON SWE MEX ARG JOR ITA GRC TUR FIN
DNS
GER NZL ESP FRA JPN GBR NC 0
2009 Thierry Neuville Citroën C2 R2 Max IRE NOR CYP POR ARG ITA GRE POL FIN AUS ESP
Ret
GBR NC 0
2010 Thierry Neuville Citroën C2 S1600 SWE MEX JOR TUR
Ret
NZL POR
Ret
BUL
12
FIN GER
Ret
JPN FRA
27
ESP GBR NC 0
2012 Citroën Junior World Rally Team Citroën DS3 WRC MON
Ret
SWE
12
MEX
13
POR
8
ARG
5
GRE
6
FIN
16
GER
12
GBR
7
FRA
4
ESP
12
7th 53
Qatar World Rally Team NZL
5
ITA
18
2013 Qatar World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC MON
Ret
SWE
5
MEX
3
POR
17
ARG
5
GRE
3
ITA
2
FIN
2
GER
2
AUS
2
FRA
4
ESP
4
GBR
3
2nd 176
2014 Hyundai Shell World Rally Team Hyundai i20 WRC MON
Ret
SWE
28
MEX
3
POR
7
ARG
5
ITA
16
POL
3
FIN
Ret
GER
1
AUS
7
FRA
8
ESP
6
GBR
4
6th 105
2015 Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 WRC MON
5
SWE
2
MEX
8
ARG
Ret
POR
38
ITA
3
POL
6
FIN
4
GER
5
AUS
7
FRA
23
ESP
8
6th 90
Hyundai Motorsport N GBR
Ret
2016 Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 WRC MON
3
SWE
14
MEX
Ret
ARG
6
POL
4
FIN
4
GER
3
CHN
C
FRA
2
ESP
3
GBR
3
AUS
3
2nd 160
Hyundai Motorsport N POR
29
ITA
1
2017 Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC MON
15
SWE
13
MEX
3
FRA
1
ARG
1
POR
2
ITA
3
POL
1
FIN
6
GER
44
ESP
Ret
GBR
2
AUS
1
2nd 208
2018 Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC MON
5
SWE
1
MEX
6
FRA
3
ARG
2
POR
1
ITA
1
FIN
9
GER
2
TUR
16
GBR ESP AUS 1st* 177*

* Season still in progress.

JWRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pos. Points
2010 Thierry Neuville Citroën C2 S1600 TUR
Ret
POR
Ret
BUL
1
GER
Ret
FRA
3
ESP 7th 40

IRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 WDC Points
2009 BF Goodrich Drivers Team Peugeot 207 S2000 MON BRA KEN POR BEL
Ret
RUS POR CZE ESP ITA SCO NC 0
2010 Peugeot Team Bel-Lux Peugeot 207 S2000 MON BRA ARG CAN
Ret
ITA
4
BEL
3
AZO MAD CZE
Ret
ITA
8
SCO
Ret
CYP 9th 12
2011 Peugeot Team Bel-Lux Peugeot 207 S2000 MON
Ret
CAN
3
COR
1
YAL
6
YPR
Ret
AZO ZLI
4
MEC
2
SAN
1
SCO
6
CYP
Ret
5th 115

WRC summary[edit]

Season Team Starts Victories Podiums Stage wins DNF Points Final result
2009 Private 1 0 0 0 1 0 NC
2010 Private 5 0 0 0 3 0 NC
2012 Citroën Junior 11 0 0 8 1 42 10th
Qatar 2 0 0 3 0 11
2013 Qatar 13 0 7 22 1 176 2nd
2014 Hyundai 13 1 3 6 2 105 6th
2015 Hyundai 13 0 2 10 2 90 6th
2016 Hyundai 13 1 7 29 1 160 2nd
2017 Hyundai 13 4 8 56 1 208 2nd
2018 Hyundai 10 3 6 34 0 177 ongoing
Total 94 9 33 168 12 969

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hyundai signs Thierry Neuville to lead WRC charge – AUSmotive.com
  2. ^ "Thierry Neuville". Hyundai Motorsport. motorsport.hyundai.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  3. ^ "Neuville to drive Opel Corsa from rally debut in Belgian event". Motorsport.com. motorsport.com. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  4. ^ Wilkins, Robert (4 July 2008). "Full Rally Finland entry list published". Crash.net. crash.net. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  5. ^ "Thierry Neuville's WRC starts". ewrc-results.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  6. ^ Neuville Secures Peugeot's 4th Corse Win – Rallye Info
  7. ^ "Citroën names Neuville for selected events in 2012". motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2018. 
  8. ^ "Thierry Neuville in Qatar for New Zealand". auto123.com. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2018. 
  9. ^ "Thierry Neuville to start Rally d'Italia Sardegna". automobilsport.com. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2018. 
  10. ^ "Novikov and Neuville join Qatar M-Sport Quartet". m-sport.co.uk. M-Sport. Retrieved 26 January 2018. 
  11. ^ "Dani Sordo beats Thierry Neuville to first victory". autosport.com. Autosport. 25 August 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "Rally France: Sebastien Ogier secures first WRC title". autosport.com. Autosport. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2018. 
  13. ^ "Emotional Neuville thankful to M-Sport before Hyundai switch". autosport.com. Autosport. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2018. 
  14. ^ Hyundai signs Thierry Neuville to lead WRC charge – AUSmotive.com
  15. ^ "Autosport.com". Autosport.com. wrc.com. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "Surprised Ogier tops Mexico standings". WRC.com. WRC. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  17. ^ Ogier nets Monte-Carlo treble – wrc.com
  18. ^ Neuville: "These things can happen" – wrc.com
  19. ^ Neuville pays tribute after Italy win – wrc.com
  20. ^ Hyundai confirms Neuville will stay – wrc.com
  21. ^ "WRC leader Thierry Neuville explains Rally Germany retirement". autosport.com. Autosport. 19 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "Rally Germany: Ott Tanak seals second career win ahead of Mikkelsen". autosport.com. Autosport. 20 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "Sunday in GB: Joy for Ogier and Evans". WRC.com. wrc.com. 29 October 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  24. ^ "Sunday in Australia: Neuville secures fourth win". WRC.com. wrc.com. 19 November 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  25. ^ "WRC Monte Carlo: Ogier leads tricky opening stages despite spin". autosport.com. Autosport. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018. 
  26. ^ "WRC Monte Carlo: Sebastien Ogier wins incident-packed season opener". autosport.com. Autosport. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018. 
  27. ^ a b "Sunday in Sweden: Cool Neuville nets victory". wrc.com. WRC. 18 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018. 
  28. ^ "Rally Mexico: Sebastien Ogier takes WRC championship lead with win". autosport.com. Autosport. 11 March 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  29. ^ "Breaking news: Ogier wins in Corsica". wrc.com. WRC. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  30. ^ "WRC Argentina: Tanak claims a commanding first victory for Toyota". autosport.com. Autosport. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  31. ^ "Sunday in Portugal: Victory gives Neuville title lead". wrc.com. WRC. 20 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  32. ^ "WRC Rally Italy: Neuville beats Ogier to take last stage win". autosport.com. Autosport. 10 June 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  33. ^ "Neuville signs new Hyundai deal". wrc.com. WRC. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018. 

External links[edit]