Thierry Neuville with Qatar WRT preparing for New Zealand
15.06.2012: BROTHER RALLY NEW ZEALAND – 21-24/06/2012 – PREVIEW
Having produced a series of promising performances since the start of
BROTHER RALLY NEW ZEALAND – 21-24/06/2012 – PREVIEW
Having produced a series of promising performances since the start of the season, Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul’s programme now features an additional rally this month.
The Belgian crew will line up for the Brother Rally New Zealand, the seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship, in a Citroën DS3 WRC sporting Qatar World Rally Team decals.
An exceptional opportunity for Thierry and Nicolas, who are determined to make the most of it!
At the start of the season, they were scheduled to start nine of the first ten rounds of the WRC, but Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul no longer have a gap at the midway point of their season.
In the midst of preparing to take part in this fifth Olympic Games in skeet shooting, Nasser Al-Attiyah offered the Belgian crew the chance to take his place at the Brother Rally New Zealand. The Saint-Vith-born driver, always accompanied by his fellow countryman Nicolas Gilsoul, will therefore be defending the colours of the Qatar World Rally Team on the other side of the world.
This long journey will provide Thierry Neuville, currently lying ninth in the Drivers’ World Championship, with the chance to add to his experience at this very specific and much-loved rally: “Ever since I was a little boy, long before I got behind the wheel of a car, I dreamed about taking part in Rally New Zealand. The scenery, the roads, the banked corners; I love everything about it. I really wanted to take part in the rally and I’d like to thank Nasser Al-Attiyah and Qatar for giving me this opportunity!”
Before setting off for New Zealand, the Belgian driver has already taken a lot of information on board: “I’ve looked at a lot of onboard camera footage from previous years to get a good idea of what to expect over there. That way, I will be well prepared, even though I know that we will be short of experience in terms of driving on the stages when we line up at the start.”
“As far as I can tell – based on the footage I’ve seen – the level of grip and amount of loose gravel is roughly comparable to what we faced in Mexico,” commented Thierry.
“But the main thrust of our approach will be to find the right setup quickly for this new surface. With only two runs in free practice before the qualifying stage, it certainly won’t be easy to compete with drivers who have already raced on these roads several times before. But the aim, of course, is to pick up as much experience as possible.”
Having finished in the points at the last three events in Portugal, Argentina and Greece, Thierry Neuville is on the upswing. Despite his good form, the rising star of Belgian rallying remains focussed in his main goal: “We will see how the rally goes. Nicolas and I are not going to change our preparation.
We always try to do our very best. The circumstances – by which, most of all, I mean the weather – will also play a major role. I wouldn’t be bothered by rain; that would reduce the problem of sweeping the loose gravel. Our goals will be set in the briefing with the team. Since the start of the season, we have had excellent support from Citroën. I have complete faith in Yves Matton that things will continue in the same way.”
“I’d like to thank Nasser Al-Attiyah and Qatar again for this gift,” added the Belgian driver. “We have talked a lot since the start of the season, and he knew I dreamed about driving in New Zealand. And I know that he dreams about representing his native Qatar in London.
We are all behind him and wish him well at the Olympic Games. He’d better prepare properly: the entire Citroën team will be watching his progress from Finland!”
Frodo Baggins, a fictional hobbit, and Jari-Matti Latvala, a fast and fearless rally driver, will never meet but they do, perhaps surprisingly, have something in common having performed starring roles in New Zealand-based dramas.
Baggins, from Middle-earth, was the main character in th weiter >>
Rally New Zealand (6 – 9 mai 2010) – Jour 3Auteurs de six meilleurs temps et leaders avant le départ de la dernière épreuve spéciale, Sébastien Ogier et Julien Ingrassia égalent leur meilleur résultat en Championnat du Monde des Rallyes FIA en terminant au deuxième rang du Rallye de Nouvelle-Z weiter >>
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SS21: Jari-Matti Latvala wins Rally New Zealand!
Jari-Matti Latvala with Ketomaa
Finn Jari-Matti Latvala sealed victory on Rally New Zealand today after a thrilling last day battle that went right to t weiter >>
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WRC RALLYES - NEW ZEALAND RALLY 2010 30 Albert LLOVERA (AND)Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000 N4 12 WITHDRAWN 36 Nicholai GEORGIOU (GBR)Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX N4 9E WITHDRAWN 40 Richard MASON (NZL)Subaru Impreza WRX STi N4 9E WITHDRAWN 42 Miguel Angel BALDONI (ARG)Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX N4 12 WITHDRAWN weiter >>
Sebastien Ogier is four stages away from a sensational debut victory on Rally New Zealand - providing he can fend off Sebastien Loeb on the final day of the world championship event.
Loeb, the six-time world champion, was 1m19.8s adrift of the lead weiter >>
Mitsubishi driver Hayden Paddon didn’t put a wheel wrong through the second day of Rally New Zealand and holds a healthy 2min 36sec class lead over Emma Gilmour (Subaru). Kingsley Thompson remains third in a Mitsubishi, more than four minutes behind Gilmour, with the closest non-New Zealander being Chinese Chaodong Liu, who is almost five minutes down on Thomp weiter >>
Jari Ketomaa is on the verge of landing his first win of the inaugural Super 2000 World Rally Championship season after an impressive run through Saturday’s eight stages in his Ford Fiesta.
Ketomaa began day two 22.5 seconds clear of title leader Xevi Pons b weiter >>
Rally New Zealand (6-9 mai 2010) – Jour 1
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Petter Solberg will start day two of Rally New Zealand in the lead following a dramatic start to round five of the World Rally Championship on the stages north of host city Auckland.
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Finn Jari-Matti Latvala was the fastest driver at the pre-event shakedown for Rally New Zealand earlier today, with defending World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb his closest rival. The four hour test took place on a 1.5km asphalt road in the Auckland weiter >>
Stilo-supported Sebastien Loeb will begin his chase for a fourth-consecutive victory in the World Rally Championship in New Zealand this week, venue of the fifth round of the series. Loeb, a six-time world rally champion, finished first overall in Mexico weiter >>
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The 2010 running of Rally New Zealand will be the event’s 40th year and organisers are asking Kiwi rally fans to help celebrate the event’s rich history. “The very first Rally New Zealand, then called the Shell Silver Fern Rally, was run in 1969,” says Rally New Zealand’s chairman Chris Carr. “That event, a marathon mul weiter >>
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Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino have finished their debut event in the hotly contested Production World Rally Championship (PWRC) at the Repco Rally New Zealand this weekend.
The d weiter >>
FIA World Rally Championship Repco Rally New Zealand, 31 August 2008
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Repco Rally New Zealand FIA World Rally Championship, round 11/15
Hamilton, New Zealand 31.08.08
Being the only Priority One or Two driver never to have contested this rally before, Conrad Rautenbach was looking to bag as much New Zealand experience as possible in his PH Sport-run Citroen C4 WRC. The first two days p weiter >>
Repco Rally New Zealand day three bulletin
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Proko weiter >>
Sebastien Loeb took his 44th WRC victory this afternoon, winning Rally New Zealand by 17.5sec from his Citroen Total team-mate Dani Sordo who was second.
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4 Jari-Matti LATVALA Miikka ANTTILA BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team FIN FIN Focus RS WRC 07 8 1 ACCIDENT DAMAGE
6 Chris ATKINSON Stephane PREVOT Subaru World Rally Team AUS B Impreza WRC 2008 8 1 RADIATOR
7 Francois DUVAL Patrick PIVATO Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team B F Focus RS WRC 07 8 1 OFF ROAD
31 Toshi ARAI Glenn MACNEALL Subaru Team Arai J weiter >>
The BP Ford Abu Dhabi team’s perfect one, two, formation on Rally New Zealand was blown apart on the penultimate stage when both its drivers hit problems.
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Although he edged two seconds closer to Mikko Hirvonen’s rally lead on SS16, Sebastien Loeb says the Finn’s 15.3sec is too much to make up through driving alone on the 32 kilometres which remain.
Ahead of the repeat pass th weiter >>
Mikko Hirvonen regained first place on Rally New Zealand on Sunday’s second stage, the 29km Whaanga Coast, moving ahead of his BP Ford team-mate and into a 7.1sec lead.
As he headed to Raglan for a 15-minute service, Hirvonen said hi weiter >>
The battle for the lead of Rally New Zealand took another dramatic twist on Sunday’s opening stage when Sebastien Loeb lost around 10 seconds with a spin.
Loeb started the stage on a mission to close the gap on the two Ford’s ahead of him weiter >>