The reigning champion, Sebastien Ogier, leads the way after Friday’s running at the Corsica Linea – Tour De Corse by 33.6 seconds despite problems.
On the opening stage of La Porta – Valle Di Rostino Ogier took a 9.7 second lead over nine time champion Sebastien Loeb, who would later go on to have trouble of his own. Ogier continued to take his M-Sport Fiesta to wins on stages two and three to increase his lead, even though he was reporting handling problems. He had this to say about the issue, “We pushed hard all day, it’s a great start. I was surprised with my time in the first stage as it wasn’t perfect. I had the same kind of oversteer I had in the first round in Monte-Carlo.”
The second stage at Piedigriggio – Pont De Castirla saw drama when Loeb crashed his Citroen C3 into a ditch just 400m from the start and was unable to recover.
That allowed Kris Meeke and Thierry Neuville to move up in the overall standings going into the second half of the day’s stages.
Last year’s winner, Neuville, had also struggled in the opening two stages with brake problems on his Hyundai, this was rectified going into the second half of the day and he was able to overtake Meeke to end the day in second place, closing the gap on his title rival. Whilst Meeke in the Citroen C3 dropped down to third suffering with intermittent intercom problems.
The winner of stage four, the second at Piedigriggio – Pont De Cartirla, was Esapekka Lappi in the Toyota which saw him jump up to fifth in the days standings. Ott Tanak ended the day in fourth. Lappi jumped ahead of Elfyn Evans and Dani Sordo whilst Jari-Matti Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen and Bryan Bouffier rounded out the top ten.
The action continues tomorrow with six stages taking place.