Neuville wins Golden Stage Rally
Sun, 06 Nov 17:02:00 2011
Peugeot's Thierry Neuville won the second Cyprus Golden Stage Rally after winning both runs.
Neuville underlined the pace and competitiveness of his Peugeot 207 Super 2000 by going fastest through the first run of the 19.43-kilometre test by 4.8 seconds.
He headed the second run by 1.2s despite almost going off the road in his efforts to keep ahead of Juho Hanninen, who finished second, 6s adrift of the rising star on aggregate time.
The Team Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg driver’s success means he pockets 40,000 euros in prize money. Hanninen, in a factory SKODA Fabia S2000, collected 28,000 euros with team-mate Jan Kopecky securing 16,000 euros for finishing third.
"We go completely flat out and I really enjoyed the Golden Stage," said Neuville, who was co-driven by fellow Belgian Nicolas Gilsoul. "It’s a shame we lost the Cyprus Rally but we are in front again and we showed we’ve got the pace on gravel.
"I have to thank Peugeot Sport and Peugeot Belgium for their support in getting me here."
Hanninen’s car needed a replacement clutch and gearbox in service between the Golden Stage runs when the original clutch failed after the opening pass.
"It did a clean run with no mistakes," said the Finn.
"It was a difficult stage but I was happy with my time and it’s a nice way to finish the season. Thierry deserved this victory, he was very fast."
Rally Cyprus : Day 3