Ogier wraps up Corsica win

Ogier wraps up Corsica win

Rallying

Ogier wraps up Corsica win

Defending FIA World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier claimed his third WRC victory of the season today, winning the Tour de Corse by a margin of 36.1 seconds. Ott Tanak headed the Toyota challenge and finished second, ultimately ending up with over 30 seconds in hand to Thierry Neuville, the Belgian having a late scare in the Power Stage with an engine problem.

In the point standings, Ogier increases his lead at the top of the table and now has a 17-point advantage over Neuville, who in turn has 22 points in hand to third-place Tanak. Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT tops the manufacturers’ championship, but with only four points between the Korean team and M-Sport Ford, the battle looks set to rage on.

Today was the shortest of the event and took in just two stages. However, there was a sharp wake-up call for the crews early this morning as the competition kicked off with a daunting 55-kilometer test before closing with the 16-kilometer Power Stage. Ogier, who led from start to finish, was able to manage the pace and the five-time champion cruised to the finish, picking up an additional three points on the all-important Power Stage. Victory in Corsica represents the 43rd WRC victory for Ogier and co-driver Julien and Ingrassia.

After moving into second place by one-tenth of a second last night, Tanak was second fastest through the long stage, despite some understeer, but was gifted time by Neuville who was forced to complete the final stage down on power. He dropped nearly 15 seconds but had enough of a cushion to team-mate Dani Sordo to retain the final podium position.

The fight for fourth between Dani Sordo and Elfyn Evans continued during the final day and the rivals were split by just 3.5 seconds at the end of the event. Esapekka Lappi suffered heartache in the first stage; after fighting his way into podium contention yesterday, the Finn clipped a curb and had to stop and change a broken wheel, losing him nearly two minutes. As a consequence, he dropped to sixth but took some consolation from maximum points in the Power Stage.

Andreas Mikkelsen was at a loss to understand a lack of pace in Corsica and the Norwegian came home in seventh. Asphalt expert Jan Kopecky claimed the FIA WRC 2 Championship win, his second of the season, and finished eighth overall just ahead of Kris Meeke who returned for the final day of action after going off the road yesterday.

After his Friday morning accident, Sebastien Loeb finished 14th, having shown the pace befitting a nine-time FIA World Rally Champion. The FIA Junior/WRC 3 Championship was won by Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, who finished over 30 seconds ahead of Terry Folb.

The WRC contenders now take the long trip to South America for Rally Argentina on 26-29.

Tour de Corse – Final Unofficial classification (subject to scrutineering)

1

Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia

Ford Fiesta WRC

3hr 26min 52.7sec

2

Ott Tanak / Martin Jarveoja

Toyota Yaris WRC

3hr 27min 28.8sec

3

Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

3hr 28min 00.2sec

4

Dani Sordo / Carlos del Barrio

Hyundai i20 Couple WRC

3hr 28min 55.3sec

5

Elfyn Evans / Phil Mills

Ford Fiesta WRC

3hr 28min 58.8sec

6

Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm

Toyota Yaris WRC

3hr 29min 26.2sec

7

Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger

Hyundai i20 WRC

3hr 29min 36.1sec

8

Jan Kopecky / Pavel Dresler

Skoda Fabia R5

3hr 37min 27.5sec

9

Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle

Citroen C3 WRC

3hr 37min 33.2sec

10

Yoann Bonato / Benjamin Bouilloud

Citroen C3 R5

3hr 39min 18.7sec

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