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Rallye de France - preview - Pt. 2.

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally team:

[Matthew Wilson, car #7 and Jari-Matti Latvala, car #8 and Henning Solberg, car #16 and Barry Clark, car #15]

Matthew Wilson:

"We had a few stages in Spain where I was under one second per kilometre off the leader so that's a very positive feeling to take to Corsica next week. I like the stages as the grip is good on the abrasive roads and with a more relaxed recce period than other events, it allows me more time to look over the video and prepare for the rally. I find it beneficial to have two events very close together; we finished off well in Spain, with a good setup and confidence, and that means we will start in Corsica with this fresh in my mind. The weather as always can be very unpredictable on the island but if it stays dry I'm confident we can finish with a points result."


Jari-Matti Latvala:

"I am really looking forward to Corsica now after the improvements we made in Spain. I love the Corsica stages as they are more abrasive and the grip is good and it gives you a good feeling to be able to push on harder. I finished fourth here last year and won Group N a few years ago so I'm hoping for a good result again. I think my confidence will be better as I know I can push harder on the stages; there are not so many cuts, less gravel pulled out onto the road and they flow quite well when you get into a good rhythm. I found a good setting in Spain but most of all I learnt a lot about the Pirelli tyres and now I know how much I can push them and that I need to be really precise with them. That's what helped me to get better times in Spain."


Henning Solberg:

"Spain last week was a good learning event for us and we managed to find a setting that I was happy with after my engineer helped with some new differential settings. I drove a strong event remembering that I needed to learn as much as possible from Spain and now I am in a stronger position for Corsica. The more abrasive stages here will help me and I'm confident the feeling with the car will be improved."


Barry Clark:

"This is going to be a seriously tough rally but I'm really looking forward to the challenge. Corsica is different from other tarmac events because there is just corner after corner and virtually no straights. It's also very narrow and bumpy so there's a lot to contend with. I've competed in Corsica once before in 2006 in the Fiesta but this will be a whole different scenario. It will be about having a good shakedown and building up my feeling and confidence in the Focus WRC."


Suzuki WRT:

[Toni Gardemeister, car #11 and Per-Gunnar Andersson, car #12]

Toni Gardemeister:

"Corsica is a rally that you need to know well. I've always liked it, although it's important to find a good rhythm straight away. The most difficult thing about it is the fact that the asphalt is always changing and that you can never guess what the weather will do. I know the roads quite well, and it will be interesting to see what sort of difference it makes to the team to have competed there before. The problem we have is that the opposition will be very tough, as asphalt is usually a less forgiving surface than gravel. But if we maintain our good reliability, then I don't see why we can't score some points."


P-G Andersson:

"Corsica is one of those legendary rallies that everybody talks about because it is such a big challenge. Although it went very well for me last time [and I clinched my second Junior title], I've still got a lot to learn about the place as well as about asphalt driving in general. So for me, the priority will be to check my pace notes and make sure that I finish."


Junior WRC:

Round 7 - Finale time.

After making a crucial error in Spain, Sebastian Ogier will be out to try and clinch the 2008 Junior World Rally Championship title on the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse this weekend.

Ogier was well on course to do that on the Rally Catalunya and was leading by over a minute, when he hit a bank in the last stage on day 2 and damaged the radiator on his Citroen C2 S1600. That no score has allowed Aaron Burkart to close the gap to just four points and the German now has an outside chance of stealing the crown should the Frenchman drop the ball again.

"I will put as much pressure as I can on Ogier in Corsica," Burkart vowed, after finishing third in Spain, "and I'll be ready to jump if he makes a mistake!"



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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