2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France: Dominant Ogier takes Day 1 lead


Sébastien Ogier completed a clean sweep stage wins as he took the lead after Day 1 of the 2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France.

Ogier, who needs to win on his ‘home’ rally for his fourth World Rally Championship and hope his rivals falter in Corsica, was in blistering form as he leads the Tour de Corse by 44 seconds.

The Volkswagen driver opened up a near-15 second lead after the first two stages near Ajaccio. This was to be repeated again after the next two afternoon stages, with Ogier winning SS3 and SS4 to lead overnight after Day 1.

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was second, 44 seconds behind the rally leader after suffering with handling problems in the morning stages. Ogier’s team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala rounded out the top three after Day 1 in Corsica.

Andreas Mikkelsen, who is Ogier’s nearest rival in the 2016 WRC Drivers’ Standings finished the opening day in fourth.

Citroën’s Craig Breen had a trouble-free day in fifth, which is a sharp contrast to the second Hyundai of Hayden Paddon in sixth after an inconsistent run today for the Kiwi.

M-Sport’s Eric Camilli is seventh, while WRC2 Championship Leader Elfyn Evans, Dani Sordo, Mads Østberg and Kris Meeke complete the WRC finishers for Day 1 of the 2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France.

Credit: McKlein/M-Sport
Credit: McKlein/M-Sport

In WRC2, Elfyn Evans has taken a +15.7 second lead over the Škoda Fabia R5 of Jan Kopecký after Day 1 in Corsica.

Evans is making the most of his seventh and final appearance in this year’s WRC2 Championship as he looks to put one hand on the WRC2 title in Corsica on Sunday.

Kopecký is second after a solid run on the Corsican asphalt, in which the Czech driver looks to make it seven consecutive victories for the Škoda Fabia R5 in WRC2.

Kevin Abbring, who is making his WRC2 début with the Hyundai i20 R5 at the Tour de Corse was third, over a minute behind the rally leader Evans.

Yoann Bonato completed Day 1 of Tour de Corse in fourth, ahead of the Peugeot 208 T16 of José Antonio Suárez in fifth. While Julien Maurin completes the top six finishers after Day 1 of Tour de Corse 2016.

In WRC3, France’s Yohan Rossel leads his fellow countryman Laurent Pellier by +4.4 seconds after Day 1 of Tour de Corse 2016 in the Citroën DS 3 RT Max RC3.

Martin Koči is third, while Romain Martel is fourth, ahead of Simone Tempestini in fifth. Michaël Burri completes the top six in the WRC3 category in Corsica.

Credit: @World Photography/Citroën Racing
Credit: @World Photography/Citroën Racing

Finally, in the Junior WRC category, Yohan Rossel leads Laurent Pellier by +4.4 seconds. Slovenia’s Martin Koči is third, ahead of Romain Martel in fourth.

Championship Leader Simone Tempestini is fifth, whilst Vincent Dubert is sixth. Terry Folb is seventh on a rally that he must win to keep his 2016 Junior WRC Championship hopes alive in Corsica.

Mohamed Al-Mutawaa and Ole Christian Veiby complete the JWRC category after Day 1 of Tour de Corse 2016.

The 2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France continues with Day 2 at 09:22am French time (08:22am UK time) for the start of SS5.