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Neuville explains distracting brush with a bee at WRC Safari Rally Kenya

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The Hyundai driver endured an eventful Friday morning in Kenya which started with a wierd brush with the wildlife within the opening Loldia (19.17km) take a look at.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t Kenya’s ordinary wild animals that disrupted Neuville. At the beginning of the stage, a bee managed to search out its approach inside his Hyundai i20N and into his eye-line whereas navigating by the jungle. 

Regardless of the distraction, the Belgian solely dropped 8.7s to stage winner Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier. 

“Yeah, it was unusual. It regarded like a bee but it surely was two occasions larger,” Neuville advised Autosport.

“After two corners I used to be braking and it got here into the automotive after which into my crash helmet and I used to be distracted. 

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“I didn’t know if it was harmful or not however after some time it went into the again of the automotive after 4 or 5 kilometres and we completed the stage.”

Neuville misplaced additional time to a entrance proper puncture on stage three however ended the loop, 21.2s behind rally chief Ogier at noon service.  

Thierry Neuville, Hyundai World Rally Workforce

Photograph by: Vincent Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

The incident with the bee wasn’t the one wildlife interplay on the stage, as M-Sport’s Ott Tanak needed to again off for a pig after which a bunch of zebras that have been on the street on the identical stage.

Ogier additionally admitted he had a detailed name with a zebra on a quick part through the morning loop. 

“I got here very near a zebra at full pace and I didn’t again off as it’s a tremendous quick part and it will price loads should you again off there,” Ogier advised Autosport.

“The zebra had a good suggestion to show on the final minute, it might have been unhealthy.”  

Ogier did lose time to a lack of hybrid energy on the morning’s closing stage which threatened his rally lead though the Frenchman was in a position to cling on to a 2.5s benefit over team-mate Kalle Rovanpera.

The 2021 Safari Rally winner says the hybrid subject has already been resolved earlier than his GR Yaris entered service. 

“It seems to be prefer it [the hybrid issue] is already mounted. It was only a small reset from Compact Dynamics, sadly, it seems to be like a sensor or a mistake from their facet once more,” he added.  

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“Crucial factor is we’re nonetheless within the lead and naturally, it price us a little bit of time. However in that stage, we see yearly that beginning on the entrance is the perfect as it’s tremendous mushy and sandy and it will get worse and worse, so even with out hybrid I feel we did a great stage. 

“It seems to be like this third stage isn’t my stage as three years in a row I’ve had issues there, a damper in 2021, final 12 months was a puncture and now hybrid, at the least this one is smaller.”

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