Ogier’s Corsica surprise

Sébastien Ogier was surprised by the ease with which he dominated the Corsica linea - Tour de Corse to claim his third WRC victory of the season last weekend.

He led the three-day asphalt classic from start to finish to add to wins in the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo and last month’s Rally Guanajuato Mexico. He heads the drivers’ championship by 17 points from Thierry Neuville.

The Frenchman laid the platform for his Corsica success with a stunning drive in the twisty mountains near Bastia in Friday’s opening leg. Afterwards he had the luxury of measuring his level of attack during the final two days to preserve a lead that hovered around 30sec.

“I expected a much tougher competition. The gaps are usually very close and making such a big difference from the start was a nice surprise,” said the M-Sport Ford driver.

“The rest of the weekend was not as easy, because managing the gaps is always challenging since you don’t want to make any mistake.”

Victory banished memories of last year’s rally when Ogier finished second, but only after battling against a string of hydraulic and electrical problems in his Ford Fiesta.

“We also have the car to thank for this. It seems it’s now going in the right direction and that we progressed more than the others. However, it’s not because we just lived two great events that it’s over. We have to keep pushing,” he added.

Ogier also highlighted the benefits Ford’s increased support has brought to M-Sport’s development of the 2017 championship-winning Fiesta.

“I’m sure the support we get now from Ford will pay off later because that kind of thing always takes time. The development was a key factor for me to stay at M-Sport so I’m very pleased to see the efforts are paying off.”

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