Neuville confident he can beat Evans to second

The gap between the pair dropped from 11.6 seconds to 4.3s on Saturday


Thierry Neuville admits he was pushing to the limit on Saturday’s stages of Rally México, but despite that, he’s still confident he can beat Elfyn Evans on Sunday.

Neuville was right on the pace on Saturday, winning four of the eight stages and he has closed the gap to Evans from 11.6 seconds at the start of the day to just 4.3s going into the final four stages.

Speaking to DirtFish at the end of the day, Neuville admitted he had been pushing hard in order to more than halve the gap to Evans, but it’s given him confidence that he can overhaul his Toyota rival for second.

“Yeah, if he can do it, I can do it for sure,” was Neuville’s response when asked if he can catch Evans.

“It will be very tight at the end, the advantage for one or the other.

“Hopefully it’s going to be our advantage at the end of the rally, but today was a nice fight, we enjoyed the drive.

“Not 100% happy with the car in all the sections, I feel like in the twisty and narrow we are quite fast. But as soon as it gets faster, we are losing a bit.

“So let’s see if we can find something for tomorrow and yeah try to push as hard as we can.”

Neuville also explained that the day didn’t go fully to plan, despite being the pacesetter for much of it, having picked up a puncture on the penultimate stage of the day.

“Yeah, I mean we know the roads quite well and I knew that in the shorter stages I could push very hard,” he said.

“But unfortunately we picked up a puncture on the second to last stage tonight and lost about two seconds. So that was a bit frustrating, especially when the time is so fine and every tenth of a second counts.


Although Neuville is confident the momentum is swinging in his direction, Evans also believes he still has enough in reserve to hang on to second on Sunday, explaining that he was trying to make sure he was tidy, rather than pushing right to the limit.

“It’s been OK out there. The feeling’s been quite OK in the car, been comfortable with everything,” he explained.

“Yeah, it looks like we’re missing a fraction on most stages, like a few tenths here or there and it seems to have been the pattern of the day.

“But hopefully we can improve minor things for tomorrow and let’s see how we go.

“I’m driving quite clean at the moment. I think that’s always been my México way.

“But of course I always want to keep in front of him [Neuville], so let’s see what tomorrow brings.”