HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT THIERRY NEUVILLE
BASED: ALZENAU, GERMANY WALES RALLY GB WINS: 0 WALES RALLY GB PODIUMS: 0
So much of Rally GB is about getting the best out of marginal conditions and, strange as it might seem, Neuville’s Belgian background stands him in good stead for this. Neuville grew up on asphalt stages, but he grew up on asphalt stages with hugely varying grip levels and was forced to find a way to make a car work and perform out of its comfort zone. His best result in Wales came with third place in 2013 – a graphic demonstration of man and machine in perfect harmony. The move to Hyundai certainly trousered him more cash, but it also upset the balance Neuville had found and left him teetering on the brink of rallying oblivion. He’s back now and back stronger. And a potential winner this week. no longer stacks up. The likeable Spaniard showed great fortitude and outstanding adaptability to make the most of some horrible weather on the gravel day of Rally Spain. So, he’s shown he can do it, he can get the best out of a car on a wet-dry-wet-wet-soaking day on the dirt. He has, however, never truly clicked with this rally, so a steady, dependable fifth place probably beckons. He’s not going to set the stages alight, but he will deliver points as Hyundai clings to fading hope that it might be able to deny Volkswagen a fourth-straight makes’ crown.