BRENTWOOD, England - Thierry Neuville continued his impressive run of form in the Fiesta RS WRC by seizing his sixth podium and fourth consecutive runner-up spot of 2013 at Rally Australia.
His Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team colleagues Mads Østberg and Evgeny Novikov finished fifth and seventh respectively.
Despite the impressive result, it was not all plain sailing for Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul. Although they had to contend with some overly optimistic pacenotes in the event’s early phases, the pairing regrouped brilliantly. Setting the stages alight with some encouraging times, the Belgian secured 10 top-three times on his Australian debut – outshining those with considerably more experience.
The result means Neuville has also increased his second place advantage in the FIA Drivers’ World Rally Championship to 19 points with just three rounds to go.
“I was really pleased with our performance this weekend,” said Neuville. “Once again, we were quite clever – pushing when we felt good and checking the notes over the first loop – which proved to be a good strategy.
“I don’t think it was one of my best performances and I could certainly have been better on the first day. We worked hard to make improvements, but I need to work on having more confidence on the first pass.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson, said: “It’s been another dream result for Thierry. We certainly didn’t expect to finish second again but it just proves how he is developing and the professional way in which he has approached every event this season. He’s been patient, and smart, and ended up with a fantastic result.
“Our cars have run faultlessly all weekend, and the good thing is that we have now improved our position in the Drivers’ championship over both Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala.”
1. S.Ogier VW Polo R WRC
2. T.Neuville Ford Fiesta RS WRC
3. M.Hirvonen Citroen DS3 WRC
4. J-M Latvala VW Polo R WRC
5. M Østberg Ford Fiesta RS WRC
6. A Mikkelsen VW Polo R WRC
7. E Novikov Ford Fiesta RS WRC
8. N Quinn Mini John Cooper Works WRC
9. A Qassimi Citroen DS3 WRC
10. A Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC