IRCOff Road

Neuville Wins Opening Pair Of Tour De Corse Stages

1 Mins read

Belgian youngster Thierry Neuville made a surprisingly commanding start to the Tour de Corse by winning the rally's opening pair of stages on Thursday afternoon.

The Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg driver scored an impressive podium result on the previous round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in the Canary Islands and began the Corsican event in even better form by recording the fastest time on both runs through the 27.53 km Le Fangu-Notre Dame de la Serra stage.

Jan Kopecky was second fastest on the opening run and then third on the second run. The Skoda Motorsport driver is second overall, 8.9 seconds behind Neuville.

Monte Carlo Rally winner Bryan Bouffier is third for Peugeot France, taking the position from Skoda UK's Andreas Mikkelsen on stage two. Bouffier had complained of a problem with his steering wheel at the end of the first stage, but this problem was solved in the service break between the two runs through the stage.

Freddy Loix is fifth in his BFO Skoda, moving ahead of Peugeot UK's Guy Wilks by going second quickest to compatriot Neuville on the second stage after stiffening his car's rear suspension between the two stages. Despite losing eight seconds with a spin on the opening stage, Wilks completed the first test just 9.7 seconds down on Neuville, but the deficit to his Kronos stablemate on the next stage was two tenths larger.

Local man Pierre Campana was seventh quickest on both runs through the stage and holds the same position on the overall leaderboard in his 207. Bruno Magalhaes is eighth for Peugeot Sport Portugal, with Toni Gardemeister ninth in his own TGS Worldwide entered-Skoda. Julien Maurin rounds out the top ten in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta.

Outside of the top ten, Patrik Sandell is 13th on his IRC debut with Skoda Sweden, while Toshi Arai is 16th on the debut of the R4-specification Subaru Impreza. Florian Gonon leads the Production Cup in 15th overall, just behind 2WD Cup leader Pierre-Antoine Guglielmi.

Top ten positions after SS2:

Pos. No Driver Team Car Time/Gap
1 5 Thierry Neuville Peugeot Belux Peugeot 207 32:08.0
2 4 Jan Kopecky Skoda Å koda Fabia +8.9
3 1 Bryan Bouffier  Peugeot France Peugeot 207 +12.4
4 6 Andreas Mikkelsen Skoda UK Å koda Fabia +13.8
5 2 Freddy Loix  BFO Skoda Å koda Fabia +19.2
6 3 Guy Wilks Peugeot UK Peugeot 207 +19.6
7 10 Pierre Campana Munaretto Peugeot 207 +25.0
8 7 Bruno Magalhaes Peugeot Portugal Peugeot 207 +39.6
9 8 Toni Gardemeister TGS Worldwide Å koda Fabia +54.6
10 11 Julien Maurin Privateer Ford Fiesta +1:19.5
Avatar photo
1882 posts

About author
Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
Related posts
Off RoadV8 Supercars

Craig Lowndes on Finke debut: "I'm a race driver so I want to try and beat our class, but we've got some stiff competition"

2 Mins read
Supercars legend Craig Lowndes is eager to put the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Off-Road Racer to the test in his maiden Finke Desert Race and return to off-road competition.
Off Road

Championship Off-Road moves Deadwood date to 2025

1 Mins read
Championship Off-Road’s Black Hills Shootout in South Dakota, originally scheduled to be the final race of 2024, has been postponed to 2025.
Off Road

Larry Ragland retiring from racing

3 Mins read
“Lightning” Larry Ragland, one of the greatest racers in desert racing history, is hanging up his helmet after an illustrious 48-year career. He went out on top by winning the NORRA Mexican 1000’s Historic Truck class.