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Rallye de France - preview - Pt. 1.

Only four days after the speed tests in Spain fell silent, the World Rally Championship will fire up again this week for the second instalment of the asphalt double-header in the Mediterranean.

Although it is only a short journey across the water to the craggy island of Corsica, Rallye de France-Tour de Corse offers a challenge far removed from the one that competitors have just faced on Rally de Espana.

The 13th round of the series, and the final sealed surface fixture of the 2008 campaign, is regarded as the championship's 'classic' asphalt rally.

In contrast to the smooth, sweeping roads of Spain, the popular holiday island offers narrow and tortuously twisty ribbons of asphalt on mountain roads that are susceptible to sudden and unpredictable changes in weather that can turn the rally against a driver just like flicking a switch.

Affectionately known as the Rally of 10,000 Corners, the event has evolved considerably in recent years.

Roads that twist and turn with the contours of a mountain, with a rock face on one side and a huge drop into the sea on the other, are less frequent now. Nevertheless though, it remains hugely demanding and the abrasive asphalt requires hard-wearing tyres.


Special notes:

The Rallye de France-Tour de Corse is renowned as one of the most watched events on the WRC calendar as its history dates back to the inaugural running of the championship in 1973 and it has produced legendry winners from every WRC era.

Based in Ajaccio on the west of the island, the service park sits within the town's shipping port.

Coming just days after Rally Catalunya, Corsica's challenge is also waged on asphalt roads, but winding through the mountainous and beautifully unspoiled countryside, they are of a very different nature.

Indeed in contrast to Corsica's quiet demeanour, the rally route is anything but laid back. The Rally of a Thousand Corners is a fitting moniker for this test that certainly keeps the drivers busy.

The roads are flowing, meaning that they are also very fast, but are characterised by the constant dance of hard acceleration and heavy braking, cars teetering on the edge of adhesion.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC. Rallye de France-Tour de Corse, Corsica. 12-14th October 2007.
1st: Sebastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC. 2nd: Marcus Gronholm (FIN) / Timo Rautiainen (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 06. 3rd: Daniel Sordo (ESP) / Marc Marti (ESP), Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC. Rallye de France-Tour de Corse
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 06. Rallye de France-Tour de Corse, Corsica. 12-14th October 2007.
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Monza, [Credit: Hyundai Motorsport]
Podium 1st Australian - Molly Taylor (AUS) Bill Hayes (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

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