Neuville, King of Belgium

Triumph of the local idol in the first foray of the World Cup in his country, which relaunches him in the fight for the title. Craig Breen completes Hyundai's double.


Unbeatable scenario to end more than a year and a half without victories. Thierry Neuville has been crowned king of Belgium by winning the Ypres Rally, the first time the World Championship has arrived in his country. In the incomparable setting of the Spa Francorchamps circuit, the local idol has added his 14th triumph, which relaunches him in the fight for the World title. Craig Breen has completed an exceptional one-two for Hyundai, which also packs a good punch in the brand standings. And to top it all off, victory in WRC2 for Jari Huttunen in the debut of the new i20 in the category.

Neuville had not been to the top of the podium since last year's Monte Carlo Rally and has chosen the best setting to uncork the champagne again: in front of his own. It is also the first victory he has won alongside Martin Wydaeghe, the co-driver he had to recruit quickly and on the run after breaking up with his longtime partner, Nicolas Gilsoul, the week before the season started. The Belgian arrived with a disadvantage of 52 points compared to Sebastien Ogier, and leaves his country at 38. There is still to be cut, but this test may be a turning point in a season that even Ypres has been dominated by Toyota.

That is why the doublet culminated by Breen is even more important, which also allows the Korean firm to get closer to the Japanese in the classification of brands. The Toyota fight for the third step of the podium fell on the side of the team's youngster, Kalle Rovanpera, who beat Elfyn Evans, while Ogier fell off the hook after suffering a puncture in the first stage of the day.

Next stop, Acropolis Rally in Greece, September 9-12. Another of the legendary rallies returns, one of the toughest events on gravel, in which we will once again have Dani Sordo in action in his first test with his new co-driver, Cándido Carrera. The Spaniard was already on the verge of winning it in the past, and he is together with Ogier the only one of the leaders who knows him.Classification

1. Neuville-Wydaeghe (Bel / Hyundai), 2h 30m 24.2s

2. Breen-Nagle (Irl / Hyundai), at 30.7

. Rovanpera-Halttunen (Fin / Toyota), at 43.1

4. Evans-Martin (Gbr / Toyota), at 49.6

5. Ogier-Ingrassia (Fra / Toyota), at 55.8

World of pilots

1. Sebastien Ogier, 162 points

2. Elfyn Evans, 12

. Thierry Neuville, 12

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