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AFP
January 27, 2020

Neuville claims his first Monte Carlo Rally win

Sports

AFP
January 27, 2020

MONACO: Thierry Neuville claimed his first Monte Carlo Rally win on Sunday, the bespectacled Belgian denying Sebastien Ogier after a roller-coaster opening leg of the world championship for his Hyundai team. Neuville, 31, rattled off the fastest times in all of the final day’s four stages to beat six-time former world champion Ogier by over 12 seconds.

Ogier’s fellow Toyota driver Elfyn Evans was in third, 14sec off the pace.This was a debut Monte Carlo triumph for Neuville, championship runner-up in each of the past four seasons, at his ninth attempt. And it proved a sweet ending for Hyundai to a rally that had begun so disastrously for the Korean constructor with their new driver Ott Tanak’s spectacular 180kmh crash on Friday. World champion Tanak and his co-driver escaped unscathed from their wrecked vehicle, images of which went viral. They are now targetting a return in the next leg of the world rally championship in Sweden starting on February 13. It is traditionally the only rally in the series held on snow, but is in doubt because there has been no snow. Tanak for one is hoping the rally takes place.

After an emotion-charged weekend Hyundai’s Italian sporting director Andrea Adamo fought back tears, saying only that “it’s been a good weekend”.

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