A round-up of the stories that are making the news at Rallye de France-Alsace today:
- Mads Ostberg (pictured) started today’s first full day of competition lacking asphalt test time following a heavy accident last Friday. The Norwegian had completed just two runs of his daylong session when he and co-driver Jonas Andersson rolled their Ford Fiesta RS down a bank.
The accident brought Ostberg’s test to an immediate halt and Qatar M-Sport colleagues Thierry Neuville and Evgeny Novikov had their tests delayed by a day each while a replacement test car was sent out to France and prepared.
- WRC 3 contender Stephane Consani was today thrown out of the championship after admitting illegally recceing a Rallye de France-Alsace stage last month. Consani was also involved in an accident on the 34.34km Vosges-Pays d’Ormont stage, the longest of the rally, on 26 September.
Consani told rally stewards that when he realised he was being followed by representatives of the rally organisers, he panicked and drove off. The Frenchman, who was accompanied in the car by his girlfriend, withdrew from the rally before the restart this morning ‘for personal reasons’.
Consani, who was seventh in the WRC 3 championship standings, had his points withdrawn and was suspended from the final two rounds of the season. He will be reported to French motorsport’s governing body with a request to consider suspending his competition licence
- Three stage wins for Sebastien Loeb’s specially-liveried Citroen DS3 in today’s opening leg raised the Frenchman’s career total to 899. He is already a clear leader in the all-time rankings, ahead of Markku Alen on 801 and Carlos Sainz on 756.