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Duval tops Corsica shakedown.

BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Francois Duval edged out Sebastien Loeb to set the pace on Thursday in the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse shakedown.

Duval completed the 6.10 kilometre stage from Capo di Feno to Saint Antoine in 3 minutes 44.9 seconds, 0.2 seconds up on pre-event favourite and local hero, Sebastien Loeb.

"My Ford Focus RS WRC was sliding a lot in Spain, but we still managed to go quite quickly. Here, on what is a much more abrasive surface, I hope to raise my game and see if we stand any chance of winning," said the Belgian. "The weather seems a bit uncertain, but I think that tricky conditions could work in our favour."

Loeb meanwhile was largely happy with his final preparations for the thirteenth round in the World Rally Championship: "Everything went well with the exception of one thing - the steering was slightly out. But that is easily fixed," he added.

"This morning's shakedown was just to check that all the systems were working properly, as there is not a lot of meaningful information we can learn for the rally by running on soft tyres."

Dani Sordo was next up, third in the other 'works' Citroen C4 WRC, followed by Mikko Hirvonen and Urmo Aava.

"It was good to get back into the rhythm of Corsica again," said Dani. "My feeling with the car is actually better than it was in Catalunya as you notice the grip straight away, which is much more than we had in Spain. We also ran on soft tyres this morning and tried a few different things with the set-up."

"On paper, it's hard to expect to beat Sebastien Loeb here," Mikko admitted. "But we can't just settle for finishing behind the Citroens. It took me a little while to get up to speed in Spain but I got there in the end.

"The abrasive surface here in Corsica should be better suited to our car than the asphalt in Catalunya. We need to be quick straight out of the box here, in order to see if we can fight for victory."

Further down the order Ford privateer Andreas Mikkelsen was sixth, with the Subaru's of Petter Solberg and Brice Tirabassi seventh and eighth.



Related Pictures

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Francois Duval (BEL) Patrick Pivato (FRA), Ford Focus RS WRC07, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), TOYOTA YARIS WRC, TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT

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