Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe win the Il Ciocco rally

First victory for the Neuville-Wydaeghe tandem this Saturday.

Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 R5) won Rally Il Ciocco, the opening round of the Italian Rally Championship. The Belgian duo were 22.7 seconds ahead of their first pursuer Stefano Albertini (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) at the finish. Another Italian Giandomenico Basso (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) took third place at 31.4 seconds.

After two third places in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and a second place in a winter rally in Estonia, Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe won the Il Ciocco Rally in Tuscany. If the victory is always pleasant, the main objective of this race was to give Neuville and Wydaeghe an additional race to refine their automatisms. The second reason to go to Tuscany was because it was an asphalt rally. The next round of the World Rally Championship from April 22 to 25 is Rally Croatia and is contested on asphalt.

Neuville and Wydaeghe were the fastest in the shakedown on Friday and won the first stage of the rally. Craig Breen took the lead in Neuville on Saturday morning, before losing it again to Saint-Vithois after the fourth special. In the next stage, Irish teammate Neuville got off the road and had to retire. From then on, the road to success was wide open for the Belgian duo who managed to win six of the ten timed stages.

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