The very expensive bet Neuville’s co-driver lost

Martijn Wydaeghe is going to have to fork out a big sum of money after losing a bet


A stage win will rarely – if ever – cost Thierry Neuville’s co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe as much in his career.

You might have noticed the smile on Neuville’s face was just that bit wider when he reached the finish of the second run at Pećurkovo Brdo – Mrežnićki Novaki on Saturday afternoon. Yes, he’d ‘won’ Saturday and bagged the big 18 points. But even more than that, he’d cost Wydaeghe a stack of cash.

“When we were on the recce,” Neuville told DirtFish, “we noticed this stage was 9.11 kilometers long. Martijn came with the bet and he said: “Listen, this stage is 9.11 – if we win it twice then I’m going to buy a [Porsche] 911.”

“I told him that was a proper bet and we were really going to go for it. I trusted myself and we went for it – I was really focused for that final stage and we set the fastest time. I was really happy when the team come to the radio and tell us we are fastest – It’s going to cost him some money now!”

Beyond the new car connotations, Neuville was pretty pleased with his work at the end of a dry second day in Croatia.


Martijn Wydaeghe's wallet is about to get a whole lot lighter

“It was a nerve-wracking day,” he said reflecting on his 4.9-second advantage over Elfyn Evans. “The afternoon was really challenging. I mean, the situation wasn’t clear for the rain and it was very hard to make a good tire choice.

“Somehow, we expected the stages to stay dry, or if the rain comes, we would be able to switch to the rain tires, but unfortunately it wasn’t so. We didn’t make the right call there, but we were lucky to get away with it and didn’t have any additional humidity in the last two stages.

“We got through, we fought very hard, I guess Elfyn [Evans] and Sebastien [Ogier fought hard] as well, but we were capable of going faster and I’m really happy to score those 18 points tonight.”

And so’s Wydaeghe… once he can see past the bill for his new ride.