Sébastien Ogier headed a Volkswagen Motorsport 1-2 as he set fastest time through Thursday morning’s shakedown stage at the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse.
The Frenchman, bidding to secure his fourth consecutive world drivers’ title on home ground, completed three runs through the 5.40km Sorbo Ocagnano test. He posted the fastest time of 3min 51.7sec in his Polo R on his final attempt.
Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala moved to within 0.8sec of Ogier in his fifth and final pass with Kris Meeke completing the top three in Citroën’s DS 3, a further 0.6sec further back.
“It’s no secret that I would love to win this event. I have won the French rally already twice but never in Corsica and that’s something I would like to change,” said Ogier, who admitted pre-event testing had been targeted at the long stages which will be key to the outcome.
“In the tests we’ve been working on long distances to ensure the set-up of the car is adapted to that and to help us also to save the tyres, because this rally is about the driving style but also the set up. We have a long stage every day, with a lot of different sections where you must adapt the rhythm and adapt to the different conditions, so it’s a big challenge.”
There was a three-way tie for fourth between Hyundai team-mates Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo, driving i20 World Rally Cars, and the DS 3 of Craig Breen.
The leading times were:
|1.||Sébastien Ogier||Volkswagen Polo R||3min 51.7sec|
|2.||Jari-Matti Latvala||Volkswagen Polo R||3min 52.5sec|
|3.||Kris Meeke||DS 3||3min 53.1sec|
|4=.||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai i20||3min 53.4sec|
|4=||Dani Sordo||Hyundai i20||3min 53.4sec|
|4=||Craig Breen||DS 3||3min 53.4sec|
|7.||Hayden Paddon||Hyundai i20||3min 55.0sec|
|8.||Andreas Mikkelsen||Volkswagen Polo R||3min 55.5sec|
|9.||Ott Tänak||Ford Fiesta RS||3min 56.0sec|
|10.||Eric Camilli||Ford Fiesta RS||3min 57.0sec|