THIERRY Neuville is expected to take the start of ADAC Rallye Deutschland later today, despite spectacularly rolling his Hyundai i20 in Thursday’s Shakedown session.
Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were unhurt after the car rolled up to six times into a vineyard. There was panel damage but FIA technical officials confirmed the roll cage was intact and repairs could be made.
Mechanics began an overnight job to have the car ready for the first Special Stage.
Jari-Matti Latvala was fastest in Shakedown as his Volkswagen team claimed a 1-2-3. The Finn went quickest on his fourth and final run in his Polo R, 0.5sec clear of championship leader Sébastien Ogier with Andreas Mikkelsen a further 0.6sec back.
Citroen’s Kris Meeke topped the times initially in his DS3 and the Northern Irishman finished fourth, 1.7sec behind Latvala.
Dani Sordo, winner in Germany in 2013, and Mikko Hirvonen completed the top six in a Hyundai i20 and Ford Fiesta RS respectively.
Robert Kubica was seventh, despite a slight handbrake problem.
Neuville’s crash happened at a double-left corner in the vineyards.
“It was a small mistake from my side. I touched a small bank on the inside and it put me a bit out of line and I had to try to recover the car,” Neuville admitted.
“The rear was on the loose and we just rolled very slowly into the vineyards. It’s the first time I went off in Shakedown, but everything can happen for the first time.”
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