Ogier fastest on Tour de Corse Shakedown

by James Thompson

M-Sport’s Sébastien Ogier set the pace on Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse Shakedown setting the fastest time by 0.6 seconds.

Ogier’s time of 3 minutes 50.7 seconds put him ahead of Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon with Citroen’s Kris Meeke just 0.3 seconds behind the New Zealander in third.

Four different manufacturers filled the top four places as Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala set the equal fourth fastest time, together with Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, with a 3 minute 51.8 second times, 0.2 seconds down on Meeke.

The 5.4km test was bathed in beautiful sunshine, setting up perfect rallying conditions for the weekend.

Ogier’s team-mates Ott Tanak and Elfyn Evans were 6th and 10th fastest respectively.

Andreas Mikkelsen was the first of the WRC2 runners, the Skoda driver was 11th fastest with a 3 minute 58.8 second time, 2.6 seconds quicker than his nearest rival, Éric Camilli in the M-Sport Fiesta R5.

Mikkelsen’s Skoda team-mate Jan Kopecky was third fastest, a second off Camilli’s time.

In WRC3, Jakub Brzeziński was quickest in his Citroen DS3 R3T, but right behind was the first of the Junior WRC runners, that of Spaniard Nil Solans in the less powerful Ford Fiesta R2.

Solans was 2.2 seconds quicker than JWRC rival William Wagner who was 0.6 seconds ahead of the second quickest WRC3 runner of Loic Astier.

In the RGT Trophy, the Porsche 911 of Romain Dumas won first blood in his duel with Francois Delecour and his Fiat 124 Abarth.

The current Le Mans 24 Hour winner was 7.5 seconds faster than the former Tour de Corse winner over the 5.4km.

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