Rally France, Day 1: Evans takes lead after Ogier puncture

M-Sport's Elfyn Evans ended the interrupted first day of the 2015 Tour de Corse as the rally leader, with champion Sebastien Ogier picking up a puncture.

Rally France, Day 1: Evans takes lead after Ogier puncture
Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Kevin Abbring and Sebastian Marshall, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Kevin Abbring and Sebastian Marshall, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport

Torrential rain in Corsica had led to the cancellation of SS2, but despite talk of an early end to the day, the third and final stage - the 36.43km Sermano - did take place, albeit after a significant delay.

First on the road, Ogier, who had retaken his title in Australia, found superb pace early on in SS3, going almost half a second clear of his VW teammates after the first two splits.

However, he picked up a slow puncture and lost a minute and a half changing his rear-left tyre.

"I knew it was going to be a lottery, with the mud and the rocks," the Frenchman said. "I didn't feel anything, but it was a slow puncture and we had to stop."

With Ogier on the back foot, it was Evans' turn to star, the Ford driver topping the stage and establishing a solid lead in the overall classification.

"It didn't feel great, to be honest," the Welshman said after his run. "I told Dan [Barritt, co-driver] I didn't think it's a great time and I didn't feel I was carrying great speed."

Latvala and Mikkelsen were half a second off Evans through SS3, the former admitting he took it "very carefully" and the latter complaining of brake issues.

Instead, it was Hyundai's Kevin Abbring who was closest to Evans throughout the stage, finishing 10 seconds adrift to move up to second overall.

Latvala ended the day 22 seconds off in third, with Mikkelsen in seventh, the VW duo split by Mads Ostberg, erstwhile joint leader Kubica and World Endurance regular Stephane Sarrazin.

Kris Meeke, Bryan Bouffier and Ogier completed the top 10, while Hyundai's Dani Sordo was another victim of a puncture, losing two minutes after hitting a rock.

shares
comments
The Citroën DS 3 WRCS take on 10,000 turns!
Previous article

The Citroën DS 3 WRCS take on 10,000 turns!

Next article

Strong start for the DS 3 WRCs in Corsica

Strong start for the DS 3 WRCs in Corsica
Load comments
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Prime

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. We pick out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Prime

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against teammate Elfyn Evans.

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021