for Tour de Corse-Rallye de France shakedown results
Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier set the pace this morning in the shakedown for Tour de Corse-Rallye de France.
Ogier, who has an outside chance of securing his fourth successive WRC Drivers' title this weekend, opted for three passes through the 5.40km Sorbo Ocagnano test, going quickest on his final run when he completed it in 3 minutes 51.7 seconds. That left him 0.8secs up on team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, while Kris Meeke was third in his Citroen DS 3 WRC, 0.6secs further back.
“It is nice to be back on Corsica, and the conditions are perfect this year. The shakedown went well and the set-up is right for the rally,” Ogier said.
“That is important, as Julien [Ingrassia] and I need to be wide awake from the very first stage on Friday. Those 50 kilometres demand the utmost concentration from driver and co-driver. And it is physically tiring. Unlike other rallies with similarly long stages, there are as good as no straights here. It is important to have perfect pace notes and find a good rhythm from the word go.
“My first goal is to win my home event here in France. I obviously also have one eye on the world championship and know that I could possibly win the title here – however, that is all theoretical, as my rivals would have to be unlucky for that to happen.”
“We had a really good test before the event, but did not ultimately have time to try out all we wanted to with the set-up. We caught up with that today. By the end of the Shakedown we were really happy with our Polo R WRC and I think that was shown in our times,” Latvala added.
“The route also gave us a good taste of what we can expect from the rally, although it was a little more tempting to cut the corners and throw mud onto the road than it will be tomorrow. All in all, it was a really good start to the rally.”
Meanwhile, Thierry Neuville took fourth for Hyundai, with Craig Breen and team-mate Dani Sordo tied for fifth. Behind, Hayden Paddon was seventh, from Andreas Mikkelsen, Ott Tanak and Eric Camilli in positions 8 through to 10. Mads Ostberg was 11th.
Competitors will now take in the ceremonial start this evening, before the action starts 'proper' on Friday, with two stages on the bill, both to be run twice and with no mid-day service.
SS1, the 49.72km run through Acqua Doria - Albittreccia 1, is due to start on Friday at 09.32 hours local time [08.32 hours UK time].