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Friday, December 8, 2023

Suspension failure ends Neuville’s victory hopes

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Neuville held a ten.9s lead over Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier heading into stage 10, the second move by Pavliani stage, however got here to halt 11 kilometres into the 24.25km tough gravel take a look at.

Neuville’s i20 N Rally1 automotive suffered a bent entrance proper wheel and broken the suspension following an unlucky impression with a gap within the street.

The automotive got here to a halt on the roadside, the place the harm proved too extreme for Neuville and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe to restore, leaving them stranded within the stage.

“Large disappointment for Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe on SS10 – damaging their entrance proper suspension after hitting a gap. The duo retire for the day,” learn an announcement from the Hyundai crew.

The retirement could have ramifications for Neuville’s championship hopes, having began Greece 36 factors adrift of championship chief Kalle Rovanpera.

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Neuville’s demise handed the rally result in eight-time champion Ogier, competing a partial schedule this yr, who managed to finish the stage with the second quickest time behind pacesetter Rovanpera.

Rovanpera edged Ogier by 0.2s to scale back the hole to the brand new rally chief to 12.6s.

“That’s at all times a disgrace, we had a great combat and it was enjoyable to combat with him [Neuville],” mentioned Ogier upon listening to the information of Neuville’s retirement. “That’s the best way it’s, it’s tough on the market.”

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Picture by: Toyota Racing

Rovanpera added: “The principle factor is that they’re okay however that’s an enormous shock. It was undoubtedly not a straightforward stage.”

Hyundai’s Dani Sordo has inherited third place (+1m48.2s), with the Spaniard 1.6s forward of Toyota’s Elfyn Evans.

The Welshman dropped a minute with a suspected overheating concern on his GR Yaris within the closing stage of the morning loop, however Toyota efficiently rectified the problem in the course of the noon service to permit Evans to publish the third quickest time on stage 10.

“It was a tough stage, our run was tremendous,” mentioned Evans. “I felt prefer it ought to have been higher, however it wasn’t by the shortage of making an attempt.”

Two extra phases await the crews this afternoon.

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