Updated: Sunday, 24 August 2014 20:39 | By Agence France-Presse

Hyundai's Neuville claims maiden win in German Rally

Belgian Thierry Neuville, driving a Hyundai i20, took advantage of withdrawals by defending world champion Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matta Latvala to win his and the car manufacturer's maiden title at the German Rally on Sunday.


Hyundai's Neuville claims maiden win in German Rally

Belgium driver Thierry Neuville and his compatriot co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul steer their Hyundai i20 WRC as they compete during the FIA World Rally Championship of Germany in Trier, western Germany on August 22, 2014 - by Patrik Stollarz

Neuville, 26, finished 40sec ahead of Spanish teammate Dani Sordo in a first-ever one-two and victory for Hyundai in the World Rally Championship.

Norway's Andreas Mikkelsen came in third to save some face for Volkswagen after Ogier and Latvala's crashes.

Frenchman Ogier's involvement in the ninth leg of the world rally championship came to a premature end on Saturday when his Volkswagen Polo smashed into a roadside barrier on Stage 8, which was then cancelled for safety reasons.

And on Sunday, overnight leader Latvala went off the road in a vineyard section about 14km after the start of the opening 18.03km Dhrontal stage.

The Finn's demise left Briton Kris Meeke with an 8.4sec lead over Neuville, but Meeke then crashed into a wall early in the following Grafschaft stage, ripping the rear left wheel from his Citroen DS3.

The drama handed Neuville an unassailable lead over Sordo and continued to hand the Hyundai team a maiden WRC victory and a 1-2 finish.

Neuville's victory was only the second by a Belgian on the world rally circuit following Francois Duval's success in Australia in 2005.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn