WRC 2 battle set to resume in Corsica
Jan Kopecky leads an 11-car entry into the latest round of WRC 2 at this weekend’s Corsica linea – Tour de Corse (5-8 April) looking to close the gap to Pontus Tidemand at the top of the championship standings.
Kopecky lies second in the championship after winning Rallye Monte-Carlo. After skipping the last two events in Sweden and Mexico, he is 18 points behind fellow Skoda driver Tidemand - who will not compete in Corsica - and level on points with Rally Sweden winner Takamoto Katsuta.
The Czech driver will have an improved car for the first all-asphalt rally of 2018 after Skoda installed an engine upgrade on the Fabia R5. He tested the new unit when winning the opening round of the Czech Rally Championship as Kopecky prepared for driving on asphalt again.
Joining Kopecky at Skoda for the rally is Ole Christian Veiby who is looking to build on his podium in Sweden on the twisty roads of Corsica and move up from seventh in the drivers’ standings.
Citroën Racing has also been working hard for the event as it prepares to give its C3 R5 its WRC debut at the hands of Stéphane Lefebvre and Yoann Bonato at the ‘Rally of 10,000 Corners’.
Katsuta’s Tommi Mäkinen Racing team-mate Hiroki Arai will drive a Ford Fiesta R5 as part of the Toyota Gazoo Racing development programme, of which his fellow countryman is also a member.
Ford Fiesta R5 driver Nil Solans will be looking to use his Junior WRC experience to help him at Corsica. The Spaniard won the rally last year in the support category.
The driver perhaps getting the best preparation for the rally was Nicolas Ciamin as the Hyundai pilot won the Pays de Grasse rally in Southern France as he looked to get asphalt experience in the i20 R5.
One driver who will be unexpectedly missing is Guillaume De Mevius. The Belgian was on the entry list but a big accident while testing his Peugeot 208 R5 last Sunday has ruled him out.
Katsuta was also involved in a testing crash, but he was using a test car and will take the start.
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