WRC – T. Neuville: “That was vital for each championships.”

WRC – T. Neuville: “That was vital for each championships.”

2021 Ypres Rally Belgium - T. Neuville & M. Wydaeghe (Red Bull Content Pool / Jaanus Ree)

FIA WRC CHAMPIONSHIP

Current:
Thierry Neuville (BEL) – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Group
Craig Breen (IRE) – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Group
Kalle Rovenperä (FIN) – Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Group
Andrea Adamo, Group Principal, Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Group

Q
Thierry. you had been favorite coming in, are you able to describe your emotions to win at dwelling, within the first Belgian WRC rally?
TN:
The sensation is nice! Everybody was anticipating us to win or do properly. The plan was to go to win. I used to be answerable for the rally on a regular basis and that made me really feel fairly snug from the start. I knew I didn’t must go sooner. I may have if that was wanted however I used to be actually involved about this weekend. Different folks had been combating that. Much more immediately, I used to be afraid to get hit by any bother and never with the ability to safe the victory. That was actually vital for the staff. To get the double podium and being very robust all weekend. That was vital for each championships.

Q
You could have competed right here quite a few instances earlier than. What do you consider the step as much as WRC degree and the levels used right here?
TN
To begin with, I want to say a giant congratulations to the organisers. They’ve had no expertise with WRC earlier than and so they obtained the occasion and so they have accomplished an excellent job. Good organisation, good levels and I actually loved driving the automobile on these levels. You’re at all times quick, there are plenty of slippery locations and if you find yourself in sixth gear, somewhat bit sideways on slender roads, it provides you the impression of velocity and how briskly these vehicles may be. That was actually enjoyable all weekend lengthy. Coming right here to immediately to Spa, the nicest circuit on this planet, in a WRC automobile. That was enjoyable as properly. I actually loved the half on the race observe because the grip was actually excessive and you must adapt your driving as our vehicles are very comfortable and excessive and groaning somewhat bit an excessive amount of. It makes you slide at excessive velocity. It was very enjoyable.

Q
It’s your first win with codriver Martijn Wydaeghe. It got here collectively fairly late and it’s a huge step for him into the WRC. Are you able to say a number of phrases and describe your relationship collectively now?
TN
Everyone anticipated us to have a troublesome season after the late codriver change originally of the yr. Martijn is super-motivated and doing an ideal job. From the start, it felt prefer it at all times did once we began driving collectively. We really feel snug collectively within the automobile. He can generally give me a little bit of a push within the preparations of the rally. That’s good. I’ve been within the sport for a very long time and generally you’ve got some habits and it’s good to study new issues and new methods of considering. I take pleasure in that and it makes me really feel youthful once more. It appears to work.

Q
Craig, it’s your fifth podium within the WRC however the first time you’ve got had two in a row. Each second positions. How a lot have you ever loved the weekend in Ypres?
CB
Its good to have two podiums in the identical yr. I don’t suppose I’ve accomplished it earlier than. Usually they’re fairly unfold out. I’ve actually loved it. This rally has been one thing that I’ve expertise right here previously doing it within the R5 automobile. I’ve at all times dreamed of how it might really feel someday in a World Rally Automotive. To get the prospect this season to drive right here in all probability exceeded my expectations to drive on the roads. The slender profile, as Thierry mentioned, to drive on the slender roads, doing 190-200km.h on these slender roads with grip altering on a regular basis, you get a giant impression of velocity. Then the alternative, once you arrive on the massive observe on Spa, you are feeling like you’re stopped if you find yourself on this huge giant street! It’s a part of the rally, I’ve actually loved it.

Q
Your tempo began rather well on Saturday morning with stage wins. Then you definitely eased off somewhat. Was that beneath instruction?
CB
(Laughs).

Q
A bit of scare this morning. Are you able to inform us what occurred there and did that set the tone for the remainder of the day?
CB
Paul advised me to brake even 10 metres in a while the left nook. I attempted to do it and the results of what occurred…I’m joking. I knew in regards to the nook from recce and I noticed it was tough. I used to be warned about it earlier than I began the stage because it appeared from the WRC Reside it was fairly troublesome. I braked early sufficient as I braked a bit later the second time. I simply launched the brake a bit an excessive amount of on the prime of the crest and after I went to brake a bit extra it locked up and it began to even choose up velocity relatively than slowing down. Actually, I’ve to thank the horrible Belgian summer time that it rained a lot. It made the financial institution fairly comfortable as if it was a standard time of the yr, for certain I’d have stopped there. I noticed anyone, I assume went slower than me on the second cross and he rolled as a result of I feel I carried sufficient velocity within the corer I managed to skip over the drain and never go off. As we are saying again dwelling, sometimes you want a rub of the inexperienced. That was the rub of the inexperienced immediately.

Q
You could have made no secret of the truth that you’re looking for a full time drive subsequent yr. You could have appeared far more relaxed within the earlier occasions with the podiums. Are you able to inform us your plan for 2022?
CB
Podiums assist regardless. They assist in each sense. For certain, it helps our trigger it places us in a stronger place. Other than something, on the contract facet, it provides myself and Paul confidence going ahead. We positively really feel far more assured. We are going to see.
 
Q.
Kalle it’s your first podium on tarmac. It should be pleasing to you as you’re the better of the drivers which have by no means competed right here earlier than. You climbed as much as that on the primary stage this morning. Are you able to inform us about it?
KR
All weekend it was fairly shut battle with them. It was actually fulfilling to have a correct battle even when we aren’t preventing for first or second place. Earlier than the rally we knew that we couldn’t match these guys so properly as they’ve the expertise right here. They’ve the best tempo there. Aside from that, immediately was good to battle with the teammates and be in entrance of them. It was fairly a very good weekend.

Q
You talked about that it was an enormous studying curve for all of the drivers new right here. What did you make of the levels and do you are feeling you higher perceive tips on how to drive them now?
KR
For certain I do know what I ought to do a bit extra and what you want from the automobile and what we obtained from the take a look at was actually small. Because it went on I really feel a bit higher and extra assured and extra fulfilling within the automobile.

Q
Transferring to you Andrea and it’s a good 1-2 after some heart-breaking rallies this season. What does this consequence imply for the staff?
AA
It’s important for all, I feel. For the staff, it is crucial and in addition for the folks at dwelling too. As you say, the final occasions have been sophisticated for us. When issues like that occur, the worst factor that may occur is that individuals get scared. I used to be simply attempting to be the shelter of my staff and defend everybody. Taking, if potential, the accountability on my shoulder and allow them to work onerous as they’d accomplished earlier than. However simply work onerous, not be afraid of something and be frightened to do one thing as you may be scared to do a mistake. It hasn’t been the simplest time of my life.

Q
Belgium making its debut on the WRC calendar. What have you ever fabricated from this occasion, the ambiance and would you prefer to see it return to the calendar sooner or later?
AA
You see Seb [Marshall, the host], I do know it doesn’t appear like it however I’m the oldest right here…I’ve been right here in Ypres in 1990 and I at all times cherished this rally. I’ve been right here many instances after and I feel I used to be much more blissful than Alain when Ypres Rally was confirmed as a WRC spherical. I actually at all times cherished to return right here. We all know, having hung out right here and I’ve to say, and repeat, that being within the place the place we at the moment are. However I began to say it on Thursday, I feel having the identical Promoter for the ERC and WRC is usually a good alternative for the rally world. You may have good rallies in Europe that may be a part of the ERC and having a rotation between them. So you’ll be able to have a pleasant order and have the drivers concerned within the ERC as they will see levels that they will expertise and use later. If not, it’s troublesome. Possibly you’ve got younger folks that do WRC right away and do WRC3 with out expertise. I actually suppose you may make an actual story and an actual technique behind this stuff. Let me say earlier than this weekend I used to be already questioning why Ypres was not within the ERC. It isn’t my job however somebody has to query it. We now have to purpose for the very best. We’re all managing corporations and I’m certain that this concept, is one thing that must be explored.
 
Questions from the ground

Tom Howard – Autosport UK (GBR)

Q
Thierry you’ve got 14 wins within the WRC. The place does it rank in your wins and the way does it really feel to obtain the winner’s trophy from a Belgian legend Jacky Ickx?
TN
It feels nice. It’s a win we needed a lot. It’s also vital for the Championship. We had been capable of safe extra factors for the Championship, far more that Elfyn and Sébastien. It was a very good weekend. Not just for the win however to shut the hole within the Championship. Additionally as a staff with the 1-2. There have been different victories the place nobody anticipated us to win that we went and gained. We now have had battles till the final stage, so these ones had been highlights in my profession as properly.
Jacky, I’ve recognized for greater than 10 years now. He is likely one of the guys sending me messages often. I obtained one final night time with plenty of emojis and plenty of flames and stuff. He was believing and I knew he was right here to say so I mentioned that ‘I’ll see you tomorrow’ and he knew what I meant.

Jose Luis Abreu – Autosport Portugal (PRT)

Q
What would this rally be like if it was raining and muddy?
TN
I simply answered to some journalists earlier than who requested if the rally must be within the calendar. I mentioned “positively however provided that the climate is good!”. Within the moist circumstances, it is vitally powerful. There are such a lot of issues you’ll be able to’t see and too many surprises. It may work however you would want a very good anti-cut system as a result of in any other case, it might be actually muddy and it might look extra like a gravel rally with tarmac tyres. I just like the occasion and I actually take pleasure in it in the summertime however not within the winter.

FIA WRC2 CHAMPIONSHIP

Current:
Jari Huttunen (SWE) – Hyundai Motorsport N

Q
Jari, wanting again to this week, how do you are feeling about this rally and your WRC2 win right here?
JH
Not in each stage however in most levels I had some issues. I’m so fortunate that I’m right here.

Q
Your teammate skilled related points yesterday, had been you capable of have an effect on any fixes or was it a case of muscling your method by means of?
JH
It’s troublesome to drive however the fault isn’t so huge. It’s a small fault. Whenever you don’t have any oil within the system, it’s onerous to drive.

Q
It’s a model new occasion within the Championship this yr, what have you ever fabricated from the levels and the occasion itself?
JH
I like this rally, this type of rally. It’s very nice. I just like the Spa ingredient too.
Questions from the ground

Jose Luis Abreu – Autosport Portugal (POR)

Q
Jari, how do you examine the brand new Hyundai Rally2 to the previous Hyundai R5?
JH
I feel it’s a huge step with every thing working properly. Significantly with the dealing with facet. Now we’re within the window. I feel the hole is huge.

FIA WRC3 CHAMPIONSHIP

Current:
Yohan Rossel (FRA)

Q
Yohan, winner in FIA WRC3. It’s your third win in WRC3 this yr and within the WRC prime 10. An unimaginable consequence. How are you feeling now and the way powerful has this weekend been?
YR
It’s an unimaginable week. Lots of people helped me to be right here and it has been loopy to win this rally. It’s so troublesome. After I see the levels throughout the recce it’s fully flat out and plenty of totally different grip ranges. Actually I’m so, so blissful.

Q
It was an enormous battle between your self and Sébastien Bedoret. How a lot had been you on the restrict this weekend? Any scorching moments?
YR
No. I feel I’m sorry for Bedoret. In the present day the plan is to win as a result of Kaijto is an effective driver and to win the subsequent rally for the Championship it’s so troublesome. The plan immediately was to win and the levels had been good.

Q
There should not too many rounds left within the World Championship. How do you are feeling this consequence will have an effect on your quest for the title?
YR
The sensation is nice. Citroën Racing, the Federation is simply good for me. To win this week was superb and for the Championship to have a spot is nice and we’ll see for Greece. It is going to be tougher.

Questions from the ground

Jose Luis Abreu – Autosport Portugal (POR)

Q
Yohan, the vehicles are the identical however why do you suppose the WRC3 drivers end forward of the works drivers so many instances? Is it a distinct focus from the WRC2 guys or is it simply the WRC3 guys are on the degree?
YN
It’s troublesome because the plan is to win the WRC3, in fact. However once you wish to beat a driver within the WRC, it’s essential to see the opposite drivers and the very best drivers within the class. The plan is the Championship however if you happen to don’t carry out, it isn’t good. In my state of affairs it isn’t simple. I feel subsequent yr, will probably be somewhat bit simpler for the sponsor to see the class and I feel it’s a little bit higher.
 
FIA Junior WRC CHAMPIONSHIP

Current:
Jon Armstrong (GBR)

Q:
Your second win of the season within the Junior class and simply on the proper time on your Championship battle. How do you are feeling after a tricky weekend on the levels?
JA
Yeah it’s superb. We didn’t know what to anticipate coming into this weekend. It’s a new rally for almost all of the Juniors. I feel Will is the one one to have accomplished the rally earlier than. We didn’t know who was going to be quick. I definitely didn’t know if I’d have the velocity to win. On Friday I used to be capable of construct up a lead and by the tip of Friday, I used to be capable of construct up a lead. It was a matter of attempting to maintain that over the course of Saturday and Sunday. It’s a very demanding occasion. Very quick levels and plenty of air pollution the place we had been operating down the sector. It’s superb to win. It’s nice for the Championship and a giant because of the sponsors for getting me right here. With out them it isn’t potential. It has been tough to get again into rallying and it’s good to be performing and successful at the moment.

Q
You constructed up a giant lead on Friday after successful so many levels. The factors are helpful for the Championship. With the ultimate spherical of the Championship additionally on tarmac, does that provide you with further confidence?
JA
Yeah, I feel so. I’ve been to Spain thrice. That doesn’t essentially imply that you’ll go there and be the quickest. I nonetheless must go there and do good preparation earlier than the occasion with the stage prep and my analysis. I feel our tarmac is nice and hopefully we have now learnt issues this weekend to Spain as properly.

 

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