Neuville: Rally Sardinia effectively game over after transmission issue

Published: 18, Jun 2022

Neuville started Friday with an overnight lead surpassing dropping lanugo the order when the Belgian lost 14.6s due to poor visibility on the day\'s opening stage.

However, the Hyundai driver’s hopes of scoring significant points were dashed when a transmission issue hit on Stage 5.

Neuville was forced to limp through the stage with his i20 N reduced to two-wheel drive, dropping him to 10th position and two minutes roaming of leader and team-mate Ott Tanak.

This is the latest of a string of reliability issues Neuville has suffered this year while fighting for the lead of rallies. It follows a front driveshaft failure in Portugal and a power issue in Croatia.

Neuville had hoped to reduce the 46-point gap to championship leader Kalle Rovanpera, with the Finn facing the disadvantage of opening the gravel roads.

“To be honest I don’t know [what happened]. We just lost the rear momentum and we had to do the whole stage with front-wheel drive,” said Neuville. “It seems like the driveshaft was broken.

“I midpoint we are two minutes overdue the leader now so I don’t know how we can vellicate back.

“The first six or seven cars are within a few seconds, so it is game over for us this weekend, there is not much increasingly to say.

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“It wasn’t that rough and there was no waddle in the road, and we had a wipe drive, I was getting increasingly and increasingly into the good feeling with the car.

“I’m sure we have been fast on that stage in the past, so I knew we could have washed-up a very good stage, which could have brought us closer to the lead, but unfortunately on tarmac section it [the transmission] just went.”

Neuville says the unvarying reliability issues are making it harder to find the motivation to vellicate back.

“We alimony fighting, fighting, fighting and we don’t get anything in return and we get hit by problems in all the rallies, so that is the situation now,” said Neuville in the media zone.

“For sure, it has to transpiration and everybody is working.

“The endangerment to fight when any position this weekend is very small, so it will be harder to find the motivation.”