Thursday | 30 Mar 2017

Corsica countdown: 2016 rewind

A shift in the WRC calendar from late summer in 2016 to spring this year means it has only been seven months since the last running of the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse. As we begin our countdown to this year's event (6 - 9 April) here's a reminder of what happened last time.

Friday 2 September 2016

The opening day of competition belonged to Sébastien Ogier who completed a clean sweep of fastest times to build a strong lead in pursuit of his fourth world drivers’ title.

Under clear skies and in high temperatures which demanded skilful tyre and brake management, Ogier won all four asphalt stages in his Volkswagen Polo R, completing the leg with a 44.0sec lead over Thierry Neuville's Hyundai i20.

Ogier's team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was third, having overcome early set-up issues and an over-cautious approach that left him seventh after two stages. His advantage over fourth-placed team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen was 1.3sec.

Craig Breen and Hayden Paddon completed the top six. Breen had a trouble-free day in Citroën’s DS 3 while Paddon struggled with his pace-notes and collected two punctures.

Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke both started well but later dropped out of lead contention. Sordo was third for Hyundai until he dropped almost two minutes in the final stage changing a puncture. Meeke held second in a Citroën until a puncture in the penultimate stage required him to stop and change it and he ended in 11th.

Saturday 3 September 2016

Ogier remained firmly in control after a risk-free strategy during the second - and longest - leg.

He won two of the four stages near Bastia but when rain arrived late in the day the Frenchman throttled back to protect a 46.5sec lead.

Neuville held second, winning the final stage despite a scare when his car slid wide onto stones. The Belgian improved his car’s handling in the mid-leg service and pulled clear of Mikkelsen, who struggled with overheating tyres, in their fight for second.

Brake problems frustrated Latvala, who succumbed to Mikkelsen’s pace and yielded third in the opening test. He trailed by more half a minute but had over 20sec in hand over Breen. Paddon retained sixth, but the New Zealander was deeply unsatisfied with his driving.

Meeke stopped Ogier’s winning run by topping the times in the opening stage. However, his day ended early when he was caught out by a tightening bend in the next test and slid into a tree.

Sunday 4 September 2016

Ogier kept his nerve to claim a maiden Corsica victory and put a fourth world title within reach at the following round in Spain.

The Frenchman won by 46.4sec from Neuville, with Mikkelsen a further 23.6sec back in third. Latvala, who won in Corsica in 2015, finished a frustrated fourth. Breen was fifth on his asphalt debut in a World Rally Car ahead of Paddon.

Sordo rued his first day puncture which relegated him from third to an eventual seventh. The Ford Fiesta RS trio of Eric Camilli, Mads Østberg and Ott Tänak filled the rest of the leaderboard.


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