Video: watch Thierry Neuville drift an old rally car on his weekend off
What do you do at the weekend? When you’ve finally got some time to put your feet up? Maybe you spend several hours curating your digital car collection on Forza Horizon 4, read a few more chapters of your Haynes ‘Ford Fiesta Owners Workshop Manual’ (02 to 58 registration, petrol and diesel models) or sit back in front of the TV and watch the Top Gear race between a Bugatti Veyron and a plane. Again. Well if you’re Thierry Neuville, WRC’s 2018 runner-up, you hop in an old Opel Corsa and hurl it down a frozen rally stage.
The idea of a Formula 1 driver hopping in a go-kart at the weekend seems comical, given the speeds and g-forces they’re usually accustomed to, but many of them do simply to keep their skills sharp (and some of them jump in a Vauxhall Astra at Bruntingthorpe...). Similarly, WRC drivers like to practice, seeking out new cars, new stages and tricky conditions. That is what you’re seeing here with works Hyundai WRC driver Neuville, and his co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, at the Legend Boucles de Bastogne 2019.
Fresh from their second-place finish at the 2019 Monte Carlo Rally, Neuville and Gilsoul swapped their 380bhp Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC car for an Opel Corsa A 1.6 16v. It had less power, less torque, less grip and smaller brakes, but doesn’t it look like a lot of fun? No, it isn’t the fastest rally car around, but it proves you don’t need heaps of power to enjoy yourself on an icy rally stage. Perhaps more to the point, it’s more exciting than anything we did at the weekend…
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