WRC Tour de Corse: Latvala extends lead

Jari-Matti Latvala stretches his overnight lead to 32.7s; Elfyn Evans remains second, but Andreas Mikkelsen is now just 9.8s back in third; Kris Meeke and Hayden Paddon round out the top-five; Kevin Abbring retires in SS8 after going off the road
Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala has extended his overnight lead this morning on Tour de Corse – Rallye de France.

Latvala began the final day 2 seconds up on M-Sport driver, Elfyn Evans, but the second quickest time in SS7 – the first test of the day – saw him stretch it to 17.6s. Latvala then took more time out of the Welshman in SS8 and now heads to the re-group with his lead up to 32.7s.

“I'm happy with how things went,” Latvala told the official WRC site post-SS8. “I kept cool and took no big risks. We need to be clever now.

“No big push on the Power Stage.”

Meanwhile, Evans is coming under pressure from behind, with VW Motorsport II driver Andreas Mikkelsen on a charge, and the gap down from 28.8s to just 9.8s, with 16.74 kilometres to go.

“Andreas is driving really well. Maybe we haven't been. We had a few slides that knocked my confidence - not great. I need to do a good job in the Power Stage,” Evans said.

“I struggled with the brakes near the end [of SS8],” Mikkelsen added. “Can we catch Evans? We'll see. We try to push.”

Behind, Citroen's Kris Meeke remains fourth, while Hayden Paddon now completes the top five in his Hyundai Motorsport N entry, overhauling Mads Ostberg in SS8.

Bryan Bouffier is next up in seventh, with Dani Sordo up to eighth, leapfrogging Stephane Sarrazin and Ott Tanak after going fourth fastest in SS7 and quickest in SS8.

Kevin Abbring retired from fifth in the final test of the loop after going off the road. He tried to continue, but was unable to rejoin the stage.

In WRC2, Julien Maurin continues to lead, now 21.6s up on Esapekka Lappi. Eric Camilli holds third, 20.8s ahead of Craig Breen. Armin Kremer, who had been third last night, crashed out in SS7.

Tour de Corse – Rallye de France now concludes with the Power Stage – the 16.74 km Bisinao-Agosta plage test, due to start at 12.08 hours local time [11.08 hours UK time].

2015 Tour de Corse - Rallye de France: Overall standings after Stage 8 (Top 10):

1. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2hr 29m 13.3s M
2. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 32.7s M
3. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +0m 42.5s M
4. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +1m 27.2s M
5. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +1m 41.5s M
6. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +1m 47.7s M
7. Bryan Bouffier M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 03.7s M
8. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +2m 07.7s M
9. Stephane Sarrazin Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 30.3s M
10. Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3m 15.5s M


11. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +3m 29.9s M
12. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5m 52.1s M
13. Julien Maurin FWRT Srl Ford Fiesta RRC +5m 59.7s WRC2
14. Esapekka Lappi Skoda Fabia R5 +6m 21.3s WRC2

WRC2 standings after Stage 8 (Top 3):

1. Julien Maurin Ford Fiesta RRC 2hr 35m 13.0s WRC2
2. Esapekka Lappi Skoda Fabia R5 +0m 21.6s WRC2
3. Eric Camilli Ford Fiesta R5 +3m 41.0s WRC2

Notable retirements:

SS1. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC Hit a bridge M*
SS3. Pontus Tidemand Skoda Fabia R5 Suspension WRC2*
SS3/SS4. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC Technical M*

SS5. Robert Kubica Ford Fiesta RS WRC Stopped**

SS7. Armin Kremer Skoda Fabia R5 Crashed WRC2
SS8. Kevin Abbring Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC Went off the road

*denotes re-started on Saturday under Rally 2.
**denotes re-started on Sunday under Rally 2.

M denotes Manufacturer entry

all times unofficial
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
01.10.2015 - Shakedown, Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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