Thierry Neuville and his corijder Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) were Thursday during the shakedown of the rally of Portugal the fastest. Neuville was 0.1 second faster than Kris Meeke (Toyota Yaris WRC) and 0.4 second faster than Teemu Suninen (Ford Fiesta WRC), who last year in Portugal, his first world cup podium in his career.
After his crash in Chile was the shakedown of Thursday morning, the first time that Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul again in their wedstrijdwagen crawled. A new wedstrijdwagen because the car that the duo in Chile crashed, was reduced to scrap metal. Hyundai Motorsport had earlier this week know that was Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul. They had last week tested well and were full of confidence.
This good feeling was confirmed during the shakedown. Neuville went three times to the track and drove in his third passage the fastest time. The Belgian lost in Chile the world cup-leadership, a disadvantage in the stofferige Portugal was not to be. Neuville, last year this competition managed to win, Friday, as the third track.
“I feel good. Occasionally it does still hurt a little, but when I put my helmet setup and I driving am, everything is in order. The rides on Friday are new and represent an additional challenge. During the explorations, we noticed that the klassementsritten of tomorrow rather smooth at layers. They are demanding, small and local very twisty. With our starting position for our good news. The key is to get a good feeling with the car to obtain, and try the contest on the stage to exit,” said a wide smiling Thierry Neuville.
Ott Tänak (Toyota Yaris WRC), winner of the rally of Chile, rode the fourth time at 0.6 seconds of Neuville. He took time during his first passage and could not subsequently improve. “I feel good in the car but it is morning is not easy. The organization has today the trail is sprayed wet. They should have that tomorrow but do. I look forward to tomorrow morning with wet roads to take.”
World CHAMPIONSHIP leader Sébastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta WRC), reed is only the eleventh time was 2.4 seconds slower than Neuville. “I expect me to be a difficult match. The shakedown was not really representative of what could await us tomorrow. The trail was natgespoten. That will tomorrow not be the case, though I had that liked to have seen. We go tomorrow to fight for a better starting position for Saturday to obtain.” Ogier, wait Friday will be a heavy task. He must be on Portuguese gravel as the first on the track and that can give him lots of time since he’s the road surface, must wipe it.
On Friday, the participants get seven klassementsritten process. They lay two loops of three stages, including the double passage in Arganil, a ride that for the first time since 2001 again in the course is included. The day ends with a superspecial on the rallycrosscircuit of Lousada.