SS4: Evans storms back into lead

Elfyn Evans charged back to the front of Corsica linea - Tour de Corse after winning Friday afternoon’s opening speed test.

Stage info: SS4

Bavella 2, 17.60km
The afternoon’s action kicks off on a wide fast road that resembles a hillclimb in a huge pine forest. The first uphill section takes crews to the Larone pass and includes the only narrow and twisty sector. It is followed by a quick descent before another climb leads to the finish in the Bavella pass, 1218 metres above sea level. Ten hairpins await drivers near the village.

For the second time today, the Welshman was fastest through the 17.60km Bavella special stage in his Ford Fiesta. He was 2.7sec quicker than Ott Tänak to demote the Estonian from the lead by 1.4sec.

On asphalt made dirty by this morning’s pass, road opener Tänak was second fastest in his Toyota Yaris and the leading duo stretched the gap to Hyundai Motorsport team-mates Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

Both i20s were well down the stage classification and Tänak’s margin over Neuville widened to 7.3sec, with Sordo a further 5.8sec behind.

Fourth fastest for Sébastien Ogier promoted the Frenchman to seventh as Citroën C3 team-mate Esapekka Lappi dropped behind. Both remained far from happy.

“It’s better than this morning but still not fantastic,” said Ogier, while Lappi was a picture of despondency. “Too slow. I did a good stage, but I guess the R5s will be faster,” was the Finn’s downbeat view on the situation.

Kris Meeke was third quickest in his Yaris, but the Ulsterman still had almost 20sec to make up on eight-placed Lappi after his earlier problem.

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