What do you know, the Neuville and Opel story was true!
ADAC Opel Rallye Cup was a success in 2013 and this year ADAC and Opel are determined to keep the momentum and further increase the appeal of the obviously winning formula. Identical Opel Adam rally cars and very carefully prepared regulations combined with challenging events attracted more than a solid interest among drivers and teams. This is, of course, part of the bigger picture as Opel evaluates its options and considers the various motor sports arenas for possible major programme in the near future.
But enough about Opel, let’s talk Neuvilles for a moment. We all know Thierry is the new Hyundai Motorsport man, team’s number one driver and one of the most prominent challengers to the alleged (and feared) domination of Sebastien Ogier. Thierry surely won’t be challenging Ogier for the title this year, but winning titles and beating hard opponents take some careful planning and massive preparation. In that regard, it is said that Thierry is extremely serious, professional and very dedicated to the cause.
One Neuville, however, isn’t enough. We all like to think Thierry is kinda young, being 25 and already at the top of his game, but there is another member of the Neuville family, keen to try his luck and test his skills on the rally stages. His name is Yannick Neuville, he’s 22, no stranger to rally and this year he will put the family name on the side of one of the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup cars.
One of the three newcomers to the series (the other two being Emil Bergkvist and Julius Tannert), Yannick is aware of the challenges that await him, especially the lack of experience of the events and the car. But if you want to be a rally driver, you don’t complain about challenges, you run over them.
“For me, ADAC Opel Rallye Cup is the perfect opportunity because it’s a very good series with close competition. I followed the rallies last year and it was obvious that to be able to fight for the top positions you must be on the limit, no second thoughts. That’s exactly what I want to do. When competition is as fierce and close as it is in this Cup you can quickly see whether you’re fast or not”, Yannick said.
“I want to learn about the car and the tires in the first half of the season, and also I want to learn about the limits, both mine and car’s. Towards the end of the season I want to be able to push for top 5 finishes.”
“Comparing me to Thierry is something I have accepted and I expect it to continue, even though it makes no sense. Thierry supports me and I can learn so much from him, which is certainly an advantage, but he has a wealth of experience and I think it’s completely impossible to compare myself to Thierry. I know people will do it, but I can handle it and besides, it won’t be Thierry driving the Opel this year, but me”, he added.
The Neuville brothers, one preparing to race for the title and the other enjoying a bit different yet so similar challenges in one of the most prominent feeder series. Of course, what should happen next is Yannick graduating from ADAC Cup and join Opel as a factory driver once German company decides to hop into the WRC. But let’s keep both feet on the ground for now, just like Yannick does.
We’ll keep an eye on the young(er) Neuville this year.
As for what this title was on about, you may remember this silly story from a while ago.