Hyundai duo Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo held first and second in the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse following Sunday’s opening stage after Sébastien Ogier hit more problems.
Stage info: SS9
Antisanti - Poggio di Nazza, 53.78km
This is the longest stage of the rally. A twisty, uphill start eventually reaches the village of Vezzani before some kilometres on a quick section of mountainside asphalt that passes close to Rospigliani. On the descent towards the finish, the crews tackle a very narrow and winding section around Lugo di Nazza that competitors had to brave in the 1980s.
Ogier started the final leg of this fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship in second place in his Ford Fiesta. He dropped time midway through the marathon 53.78km test from Antisanti to Poggio di Nazza and conceded position to Dani Sordo.
A tight-lipped Ogier refused to talk about what happened although his pace through the final section matched his rivals. He stopped on the following liaison section to work on the Fiesta (pictured below) before continuing towards the regroup ahead of the final Power Stage.
The Frenchman’s troubles left Thierry Neuville with an extended lead of 57.8sec in his i20 Coupe over Sordo after setting fastest time by 0.1sec from his colleague.
“I didn’t push too much, I just tried to be efficient. The downhill sections were quite tricky but I think we’re really in a good position to finish the rally. A 1-2 would be great if we can finish like this,” said Neuville.
Sordo had no idea if he had driven well or not. “The feel with the car is like yesterday. I don’t know whether the stage time is going to be good or bad at the finish. It’s a bit like a lottery!” said the Spaniard, whose advantage over Ogier was 2.5sec.
Craig Breen was fourth in his Citroën C3 to move ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala into fourth overall. “Before halfway it was good but after that I struggled a bit. I had a couple of big impacts at the front of the car and I thought I had a puncture,” said the Irishman.
The gap between the pair was 2.0sec, Latvala disappointed with his time as he thought he had driven well.
Juho Hänninen’s troubled weekend ended when he crashed his Toyota Yaris 5km from the finish.
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