Volkswagen’s Sébastien Ogier has set the fastest time in Shakedown for the 2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France.
Ogier, who could win his fourth FIA World Rally Championship on his home rally, set on his third run, a 3:51.7 on the 5.40 kilometre Sorbo Ocagnano test to go quickest.
The Frenchman’s team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was second, eight-tenths of a second behind Ogier. Latvala has to drop as few points as possible if the Finn is to remain in contention for the 2016 World Rally Championship.
Citroën’s Kris Meeke is third, ahead of Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville in fourth and Meeke’s team-mate Craig Breen is fifth.
The second Hyundai of Dani Sordo was sixth, setting exactly the same time as the Irishman, a 3:54.4 in Shakedown. Whilst Hayden Paddon was seventh, over half a second down on the Spaniard.
Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen, who is Ogier’s closest rival for the 2016 World Rally Championship, was eighth, over three seconds behind the Championship Leader.
DMACK’s Ott Tänak, and M-Sport’s Eric Camilli and Mads Østberg complete the WRC finishers for Shakedown.
Ogier told WRC.com “It’s no secret that I would love to win this event. I have won the French rally already twice but never in Corsica and that’s something I would like to change.”
“In the tests we’ve been working on long distances to ensure the set-up of the car is adapted to that and to help us also to save the tyres, because this rally is about the driving style but also the set up. We have a long stage every day, with a lot of different sections where you must adapt the rhythm and adapt to the different conditions, so it’s a big challenge.”
In WRC2 it was Jan Kopecky who set the fastest time on his two runs with a time of 4:03.1, championship leader Elfyn Evans and Julien Maurin completed the stage with identical times of 4:04.6.
Frenchman Jordan Berfa in his Peugeot 208 VTi R2 outpaced championship leader Simone Tempestini’s Citroën DS3 R3T Max by just +0.1 second in the WRC3 category. Tempestini was the fastest of the JWRC runners with Terry Folb completing a second run, +0.8 seconds down on the Italian.
The 2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France officially begins with SS1 in Acqua Doria – Albitreccia at 09:58am French time (08:58am UK time).