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Corsica WRC: Neuville and Hyundai become fourth different winners

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Corsica WRC: Neuville and Hyundai become fourth different winners
By:
Apr 9, 2017, 11:44 AM

Thierry Neuville took his and Hyundai’s first WRC victory of the season in the Tour de Corse, making it four different winners in four different cars so far in 2017.

Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Dani Sordo, Marc Marti, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team, Craig Breen, Scott Martin, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Craig Breen, Scott Martin, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Racing
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Teemu Suninen, Mukko Markkula, Ford Fiesta R5, M-Sport
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport

The turning point of the rally came in Saturday afternoon's stages, with sections of loose gravel and narrower roads suiting Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul.

In the last stage of the morning, Novella, they overcame Sebastien Ogier’s M-Sport Ford Fiesta for second.

In the same stage, Kris Meeke’s Citroen retired from the lead with engine woes, giving Neuville a net lead he wouldn't lose.

While he crashed out of the lead in the first two events of the season while leading, fastest stage times in SS8 and SS9 secured the win this time around.

Ogier held second behind Neuville after Meeke’s C3 WRC expired, but dropped time on the final stage of Saturday, his Fiesta relegated to rear-wheel drive, and no paddleshift with hydraulic issues.

More issues followed on Sunday morning for Ogier, who also suffered electrical problems. The Frenchman reported the car had "no power, anti-lag or handbrake" at the end of the event.

Despite losing second to Dani Sordo in the penultimate stage, he won the place back in the Power Stage to take second, 54.7s behind Neuville. 

Sordo declared Saturday morning's opening stage the "worst of his career", but the noted asphalt specialist made sure Hyundai had two drivers on the podium taking third.

He kept at bay a rampant Toyota of Jari-Matti Latvala, who stole fourth from Craig Breen – the sole remaining Citroen – by 0.1s in the Power Stage after what he described as a "crazy attack".

That gave him the Power Stage victory, and the five championship points that go with it.

Breen took fifth despite doing the whole Novella stage on Saturday with no intercom.

Hayden Paddon was the last WRC car in the top 10 in sixth, continuing his asphalt development.

Ott Tanak finished just outside the top 10 after he crashed on Friday, and then suffered a spark plug issue on Saturday.

Juno Hanninen had plenty of problems, crashing on Friday before setting top three stage times on Saturday.

Citroen’s Stephane Lefebvre and DMACK’s Elfyn Evans crashed on Saturday morning.

Andreas Mikkelsen returned to WRC2 to take victory for Skoda, steering his Fabia R5 a lead margin of 1m06.3s, as he continues his attempts to get back in a WRC seat.

Teemu Suninen, M-Sport Fiesta R5 driver, took second with local driver Yohan Rossel third.

Final results

Pos.

Driver / Co-driver

CarCategory

Time/Gap

 Thierry Neuville

 Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai

RC1  3h22m53.4s
2

 Sebastien Ogier

 Julien Ingrassia

Ford

RC1

54.7s

 Dani Sordo

 Marc Marti

Hyundai

RC1 

56.0s

4

 Jari-Matti Latvala

 Miikka Anttila

Toyota

RC1 

1m09.6s

5

 Craig Breen

 Scott Martin

Citroen

RC1

1m09.7s

6

 Hayden Paddon

 John Kennard

Hyundai

RC1

2m16.3s

7

 Andreas Mikkelsen

 Anders Jæger

Skoda

RC2

8m10.7s

8

 Teemu Suninen

 Mikko Markkula

Ford 
RC2 

9m17.0s

9

 Stephane Sarrazin

 Jacques-Julien Renucci

Skoda

RC2

9m23.6s

10

 Yohan Rossel

 Benoit Fulcrand

Citroen

RC2

12m57.1s

 

Standings after Tour de Corse

Pos. Driver Team Points
1 franceSebastien Ogier M-Sport Ford 88
2 finlandJari-Matti Latvala Toyota 75
3 belgiumThierry Neuville Hyundai 54
4  Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford 48
5  Dani Sordo Hyundai 47
6  Craig Breen Citroen 33
7 united_kingdomKris Meeke Citroen 27
8 new_zealandHayden Paddon Hyundai 25
9 united_kingdomElfyn Evans M-Sport Ford 20
10  Andreas Mikkelsen Skoda 12
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About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally France
Sub-event Leg three
Drivers Thierry Neuville
Teams Hyundai Motorsport
Author Jack Benyon