Thierry Neuville’s co-driver, Nicolas Gilsoul, has this week recounted the events leading up to their big accident in Copec Rally Chile. “First and foremost, I wish to salute and thank all those who in one way or another showed their support following our spectacular accident in SS8 on Saturday morning," Gilsoul said. "Despite the violence of the shock we were not injured, even though several days of rest are necessary to allow the body to recover from the centrifugal force we experienced during that series of barrel rolls.
"In cases like this, physical training takes on its full meaning. Safety inside a rally car’s cockpit has enormously evolved.
"Without physical fitness, Hyundai’s survival cell, which perfectly played its part, the bucket seat, the helmet or the HANS system straps, the consequences could have been pretty unpleasant.
"Hauling ourselves out of the wreck, we were pretty shocked, but we were standing upright, unscathed. “Our off-road was the result of a bend which we misjudged, some 20 odd centimetres at most.
"During recce there was a great deal of fog, which added to the difficulty understanding a demanding course. Chile has a large number of bends and curves where one needs to set the car up without seeing the exit. "On Friday the special stages were narrower and slower, which best suited the Toyota, whereas on Saturday it was wider and faster, and the Hyundai performed well, later confirmed after our retirement by several scratch times for Sébastien Loeb. "In Saturday’s first special stage, we had in fact notched up a scratch time, which says a lot about our level of performance when we were no longer the first on the road.” Now Thierry goes off to test the car for Rally of Portugal.
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