Thierry Neuville at the start of the Legend Boucles à Bastogne 2018
with his back to the roots Corsa A: “Purely for the show!”
Overall winner of the 2017 edition, Thierry Neuville will once again feature as top of the bill in the upcoming Legend Boucles à Bastogne, to be held during the first weekend of February. However, this time around the Saint-Vith driver will be leaving the door wide open to the other competitors…as he will compete as a non-ranked entrant. Well almost!
“I really love this rally. The course, the atmosphere and the general public in Bastogne are fantastic,” Belgium’s triple World Rally Vice-Champion confided. “We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves last year and I truly wanted to be back in 2018, but in a different way. Purely for the fun, for the fans and for Nicolas (Gilsoul) and myself.”
As such the Hyundai works driver in the World Rally Championship decided, that between the Monte-Carlo and Sweden, he would be at the start of the Legend Boucles à Bastogne at the wheel of … the Opel Corsa A of his early years!
“I have in fact reacquired my first ever car, the Corsa with which I competed in my first event, the Crêtes rally in Luxembourg and at a hill-climb back in 2007, Thierry continued. Together with my brother we completely rebuilt the bodywork in the family workshops in Saint-Vith. We also made a few minor improvements. Let’s just say that the car will be somewhat hybrid. Hence we asked to be able to remain non-ranked, but nevertheless in ‘Legend’ with the number #TN5. I don’t want to drive in ‘Demo’ as I really want to compete and be able register my times. But my name will not feature in the overall rankings. Our aim is first and foremost to be present in this great Belgian rally event and put on a show.”
For the occasion, the Corsa manned by the renowned Neuville-Gilsoul duo will sport an unprecedented livery, bringing together various faithful partners of Thierry and Nicolas, as also the Trace company, who do not want to miss out on being involved in this out of the ordinary adventure.
It goes without saying that the confirmation of the presence of Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul will delight the extremely large general public at the Legend Boucles à Bastogne, and notwithstanding that he will not appear in the overall rankings, the Saint-Vith resident has every intention of proving that a ‘small’ Corsa can ‘throb’ just as much as the traditional machines admired at historic events…