Neuville retires from Safari

A compression caused a load of problems for the Hyundai driver on SS6

WhatsApp Image 2023-06-23 at 12.53.09

Thierry Neuville has retired from fourth place on Safari Rally Kenya with broken front-left suspension.

Neuville was running in fourth place, hamstrung by a slow puncture on the first pass of Geothermal but still just 5.3 seconds behind Elfyn Evans in third.

However the Geothermal stage would bite him again on the second pass as through a fast section, the front-left suspension gave way on Neuville’s Hyundai.

Upon realizing the problem, the Belgian quickly found an access road and pulled off into retirement.

DirtFish caught up with him at the scene: “We lost the screw from the top mount so the damper came loose and when it completely went it took off the driveshaft and power-steering,” Neuville said, “so we just tried to fix to get back to service.”

Neuville had pinpointed this event as crucial for his World Rally Championship title chances given the next two events, Estonia and Finland, don’t tend to suit him but are rallies series leader Kalle Rovanperä always goes well on.

Currently Rovanperä is second overall behind team-mate Sébastien Ogier.

Asked what this meant for his championship challenge, Neuville replied: “I don’t know, let’s see at the end of the weekend.”

Words:Luke Barry