Andreas Mikkelsen maintained a comfortable lead in WRC 2 after Saturday’s second leg of the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse.
He managed his pace to finish the penultimate leg of the four-day asphalt encounter with a 67.9sec advantage over Teemu Suninen. Yohan Rossel continued to shine on his WRC 2 debut to hold third, a further 2min 26.9sec behind.
Mikkelsen, driving a Skoda Fabia R5, and team-mate Jan Kopecký each claimed two special stage wins in the mountains of northern Corsica as the Norwegian ensured his lead over Suninen barely changed during the day.
“We had a clean run and went a bit careful with all the gravel pulled out. We can always go faster but in the situation we’re in, we have to be clever. There’s more speed to come but it’s not necessary at the moment,” he said.
Asphalt is Suninen’s least-favoured surface but the Finn again drove well in his Ford Fiesta R5. Overheating brakes this morning and losing time when trapped behind a struggling Stephane Sarrazin for 5km in the final test were his only issues.
Rossel suffered a left rear puncture in his Citroën DS 3 R5 in the final stage but the Frenchman was almost 2min 30sec clear of Ole Christian Veiby’s Fabia R5.
Veiby overshot a junction this morning and spun at a hairpin in the penultimate test before conceding two minutes with a front left puncture in the final stage. Simone Tempestini was fifth, despite a spin in his DS 3, with Pierre-Louis Loubet completing the top six.
Yoann Bonato and Laurent Pellier both stopped in the penultimate stage while Eric Camilli’s attempts to climb back up the order after yesterday’s retirement were hindered by brake problems in his Fiesta R5.
Martin Koci crashed heavily in the opening stage. He and co-driver Lukas Kostka were taken to hospital and were due to stay in overnight for observation.