Thierry Neuville (Huyndai i20) Friday after the end of the first day in the Rally of Australia in second place. After the first eight klassementsritten has our countryman a backlog of 20.1 seconds on his Norwegian teammate Andreas Mikkelsen.
The South Korean manufacturer won in the final event of the season, all eight of the klassementsritten, with five wins for Mikkelsen and Neuville. Kris Meeke (Citroen C3 WRC) is provisionally third with 20.8 seconds from Mikkelsen. World champion Sébastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta WRC) was first on court and lost therefore much time. The Frenchman closed the day down in eighth, with a delay of 47.9 seconds on the Norwegian leader, who last year was the best in Australia.
Neuville can look back on an excellent day. The fastest time in FP 7, he should be sharing with Ott Tänak (Ford Fiesta WRC), the only non-Hyundairijder who managed to klassementsrit to win, and also his only remaining competitor in the battle for the vicewereldtitel. The Est state after the first day in sixth place, 12.9 seconds of Neuville. Our compatriot in the CHAMPIONSHIP, with a lead of fourteen points on Tänak.
Jourdan Serdiridis and his Belgian corijder Frédéric Have (Citroen DS3 WRC) standings after the first race day on the eighteenth place. During the second day the participants will receive seven klassementsritten presented. The Rally of Australia ends Saturday night with the traditional powerstage.
“Battle for second place is intense”
“I am satisfied with this first promising day,” said Thierry Neuville. “The conditions were quite treacherous. Especially if you are among the first to get the job. There is a lot of loose gravel and you need as a broom for the other participants. I knew, however, a trouble-free day and am quite satisfied with my ranking. This afternoon, I chose to soft rubbers so I do not fully could take it. The battle for the second place with Kris Meeke is pretty intense and the gap to Andreas Mikkelsen is still considerable. After my third place last year I would this year like to win. Tomorrow/Saturday we will have a better starting position. I’m ready to fight.”