WRC »

Loeb leads pack after leg 1 of the Tour de Corse.


Winner of the last round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Italy, Citroen's Sebastien Loeb continued where he left off in Corsica today.

The Frenchman ended the day with a 3.9-second advantage over Ford Focus RS WRC03 driver Francois Duval. Loeb was concerned about the close proximity of the Belgian – and the other Ford of Markko Martin.

Martin had led the event through stages two and three, but a time-consuming spin on the fourth test dropped him back down the order. Fastest times on the two remaining tests of the day elevated the Estonian back into fifth spot, 18.5 seconds behind the leader.

Marcus Gronholm was third at the end of the leg after a trouble-free run in his Peugeot, with Duval's team-mate Carlos Sainz fourth.

Today consisted of six stages – two loops of three – and at the end of the 97 kilometres of competitive action, just under half a minute separated the top seven crews. All of the stages ran in dry conditions, although the Vico – Pont du Liamone test was dirtier than most on the second run through.

The factory Citroen Xsara WRCs of Loeb and Sainz ran without mechanical trouble today, while Colin McRae suffered brake and transmission trouble and Philippe Bugalski struggled with a throttle problem for the first three stages.

Loeb and Sainz both made strong starts to the event, running at the sharp end of the field throughout leg one. Loeb admitted his car was oversteering too much through the morning loop, while Sainz's day was without any problems.

McRae was struggling to slow his Xsara WRC down on stages two and three this morning. The Scotsman was running a transmission set-up close to the one which his team-mate Loeb had used on the last round in Sanremo, but it didn't work for McRae in Corsica. McRae's Xsara was locking its brakes too easily throughout the day.

Loeb commented: "We made some adjustments to the differentials at the lunchtime service today, the car felt better in the afternoon. This is a big race, very close. It's been really hard work out there, the Ford's are so close, there's no room for a mistake."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb / Daniel Elena - Citroen Xsara WRC
Francois Duval / Stephane Prevot - Ford Focus RS WRC
Marcus Gronholm / Timo Rautiainen - Peugeot 206 WRC
Fans. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Sander Parn. ERC 2WD winner. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Alexey Lukyanuk. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Ott Tanak. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge
Ott Tanak
Bryan Bouffier - Hyundai Shell World Rally Team
Dani Sordo. Hyundai i20 WRC. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
Dani Sordo. Hyundai i20 WRC. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
Simone Tempestini (ROM) Dorin Pulpea (ROM), Citroen DS3 R3
Simone Tempestini (ROM) Dorin Pulpea (ROM), Citroen DS3 R3
Marco Tempestini (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Marco Tempestini (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Molly Taylor (AUST) Sebastian Marshall (GB), Citroen DS3 R3

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.