Blow for Safari Rally fans as Thierry Neuville contemplates ending illustrious WRC career


MOTORSPORTS Blow for Safari Rally fans as Thierry Neuville contemplates ending illustrious WRC career

Festus Chuma 20:00 - 15.03.2024

Hyundai Motorsports team driver Thierry Neuville hints at retiring from WRC after 2024.

Belgian rally driver Thierry Neuville has hinted that the 2024 season could mark the end of his career at World Rally Championship (WRC) after over the past 13 years.

At 35, Neuville has an impressive track record, having finished as the championship runner-up five times, four of which were with his current team, Hyundai.

Despite his success, the elusive championship title has remained just out of reach.

In a statement that has sparked widespread speculation and discussion among motorsport enthusiasts, Neuville was quoted by Dirty Fish suggesting that he is contemplating hanging up his racing gloves.

"This could be my last year in WRC, so I’ll give it my all once again to try and secure it,” Neuville stated.

He expressed confidence in the capabilities of his team and car, emphasizing his desire to leave the sport on a high note.

“I feel the tool is there, so we’re going to give everything to achieve it, especially if I’m stopping afterward. It’d be great to leave with a title,” he added.

Neuville previously voiced concerns over the direction of the WRC, particularly around the introduction of the Rally1 regulations by the FIA.

His bold claim that “nobody [had] the balls” to challenge the FIA on its regulations underscored his passion for the sport and its future.

The recent decision by the FIA's WRC working group to eliminate hybrid units from Rally1 cars next season has done little to assuage Neuville's concerns.

“A lot has happened in recent weeks,” he remarked. “Nothing is clear today. What’s happened can make me reconsider my desires, but also the opportunities.” This uncertainty appears to play a significant role in his contemplation of retirement.

Currently, Neuville leads the drivers' championship by a narrow margin of three points over Toyota's Elfyn Evans, after the first two rounds of the season.

This lead sets the stage for what could be a fiercely contested championship, potentially providing Neuville with the fairy-tale ending he desires.

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