Volkswagen Motorsport‘s Jari-Matti Latvala excelled on day two of the 2015 Tour de Corse, round 11 of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship. The Finn overcame a late gearbox issue to lead the event by two seconds heading into the final leg on Sunday.
Storm damage forced the cancellation of the opening stage for a second day and again crews only had to contend with two stages. Latvala made his intentions known by winning SS5, the first of the day, to move within 1.7 seconds of the overnight leader Elfyn Evans. The Finn went second fastest on the last stage of the day to move into the lead, bettered only by Sebastien Ogier who is now out of the running following his retirement on Friday night.
“I had a problem with the gearbox shifting down and lost my rhythm,” said Latvala. “It was difficult under braking because I couldn’t trust the gears. I had to use the manual shift but we got through and now we need to change the gearbox.”
Elfyn Evans admitted he was less confident today following his heroic performance yesterday as he struggled to find his rhythm. He ended the day second. Kevin Abbring, who finished second yesterday, went out on a hard compound tyre which proved to be the wrong decision as he dropped to fifth. Andreas Mikkelsen catapulted from seventh to third in a Polo R. Kris Meeke also jumped four places as the Northern Irishman jumped from eight to fourth in his Citroen DS3 WRC.
After an overnight halt in Porto-Vecchio, Sunday’s final leg comprises three more stages covering 94.91km, now the longest of the rally. The final 16.74km test from Bisinao to Agosta Plage will round out the event which also counts as the Power Stage.