Neuville changes co-driver for Monte Carlo

Martijn Wydaeghe will take over from Nicolas Gilsoul for at least the WRC season opener


Hyundai’s World Rally Championship line-up has been tweaked with just a week before the Monte Carlo Rally, as Thierry Neuville has announced Nicolas Gilsoul will no longer be alongside him in the co-driver seat.

Fellow Belgian Martijn Wydaeghe, who is four years younger than Neuville at 28 years old, will take over navigating duties for Monte Carlo and most likely beyond – although no announcement from Hyundai has come on the scope of Wydaeghe’s commitments.

He was previously hired to co-drive for Hyundai team-mate Craig Breen on the 2019 Monza Rally Show, and for the marque’s Korean former protégé Chewon Lim on his 2017 program of European rallies.

“Some changes ahead as I will start the season with Martijn Wydaeghe in the co-driver’s seat,” Neuville said on Facebook.

“I want to thank Nicolas Gilsoul for the 10 years we spent together and for the great memories.”

Gilsoul reacted directly to Neuville’s Facebook post with his own, labelled with a ‘feeling surprised’ emoji, saying:

“That’s his choice. We lived together wonderful adventures. We will live some more again.”

The all-Belgian pair had been together since 2011, when they competed in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

Their first victory as a partnership was the 2011 Tour de Corse, just one rally after they had teamed up in a Peugeot 207 S2000.

In 2014 they took their first WRC win together on Rally Germany, and on five occasions they have finished as title runners-up in the world championship.

Wydaeghe meanwhile has spent much of the last two years co-driving Guillaume de Mevius in WRC2 and the Belgian Rally Championship.


Photo: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool