The winning crew of the 92nd Monte-Carlo Rally, Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe, had spoken of “perfection” after one of his eight fastest times over the weekend, out of 17 special stages contested. They paid a heartfelt and much appreciated tribute to all members of Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) during Sunday’s gala evening at the “Salle des Etoiles” of Sporting Monte-Carlo.
The compliment came from a Belgian resident of Monaco, so it went straight to the heart of president Michel Boeri and his troops on the ground, who did not count their hours throughout the week, in the five French departments crossed by this memorable 92nd edition.
“We enjoyed having a huge number of spectators and people cheering us on, and it was great to see so many people lining the stages of this perfectly organized rally”, said Neuville on the Sporting stage.
The composition of the podium was exactly the same as in 2020, with Neuville, the Hyundai leading driver, ahead of two Toyota drivers, Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans, as the official speaker had already pointed out on the podium in Casino Square, a few hours earlier.
“I’m very proud of our work, and I want to thank all the marshals and stewards who did an extraordinary job,” added Martijn Wydaeghe, the victorious co-driver, who was not yet here in 2020. He was very tired and couldn’t wait to rest, but once again this week he did justice to his role as a perfect co-driver for a star driver.
It was a beautiful gala evening at the Sporting and the hero of the day, congratulated in the afternoon by his famous compatriot Jacky Ickx, spoke at length: “This win has a special flavour because Monte Carlo is the most prestigious of all rallies, and because it’s the second time I’ve had the chance to win here. But it’s the first time for Martijn, so we’re very happy”.
Neuville also spoke about the rest of the 2024 season, which has clearly been well prepared at Hyundai Motorsport: “There have been a lot of changes and with our new boss, Cyril (Abiteboul), we have put things in place to go after the drivers’ title, which has been eluding me for so long, and a new manufacturers’ title. We’ve got off to the best possible start, but there are still a few rallies to go. We need to keep our feet on the ground and look ahead. I want to make my dream come true and I want to tell all the young people who follow rallying that there is always a way of achieving your goal, if you fight hard, if you keep believing, if you are well surrounded, if you have the motivation and the will. D-Day will come”. A very strong message, from a worthy champion.