The Rally d’Italia Sardegna, the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship, has now been added to this season’s programme for the Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul crew. Set to be busy testing the buggy in which he will be competing in the 2013 Dakar Rally, the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah has once again opted to entrust his Citroën DS3 WRC to the young Belgian driver in the hope he will be able to claim a strong points finish for the Qatar World Rally Team.
Initially featuring eight events, Thierry Neuville’s racing programme has grown over the course of the season. The Olympic commitments of the Qatari enabled the Saint-Vith driver to take part in Rally New Zealand back in June. This time, Nasser Al-Attiyah’s preparations for next year’s Dakar Rally mean he is unable to compete in the Italian round of the WRC.
“Although my involvement with Citroën in the World Championship is very important, I have to make choices and I have to work on the development the buggy that we are preparing for use in the 2013 Dakar Rally. Thierry showed his potential the first time we entrusted the Qatar World Rally Team’s Citroën DS3 WRC to him,” stated Nasser proudly. “He scored some important points for the team and learned a lot from taking part in Rally New Zealand. When we were looking for someone to defend the team’s colours in Sardinia, with his talent, he was the obvious choice.”
“Competing in Italy will enable me to complete a full championship this season and I couldn’t have asked for any better in terms of building up as much experience as possible,” said a visibly pleased Thierry. “I know the roads in Sardinia, having competed in my first rally in a four-wheel drive car there and I know how difficult and rough the gravel can be. But it’s yet another opportunity for us so we’ll do everything we can not to disappoint Nasser and the Qatar World Rally Team, who have once again put their complete faith in us. The best way of thanking them for this opportunity would be to secure a good result and we’ll be trying very hard to do just that.”