Thierry and Nicolas finish second in Corsica
Weve done it! After ten stages and almost 400km of competitive action, weve achieved our first ever Tour de Corse podium.
Thierry and Nicolas put in a trouble-free performance on Sunday morning to secure an excellent second place. Mission accomplished.
The result helps us to strengthen our hold on second place in the WRC Manufacturers Championship.
Fantastic to continue our podium run, said our Team Principal Michel at the end of the rally. Tour de Corse is a very hard event but we have seen good pace from our New Generation i20 WRCs. Thierry and Nicolas had a very competitive weekend. They were consistently the closest challengers to Ogier, from which we take a lot of satisfaction.
The Perfect Weekend
Our Belgian crew was on fine form from the very start of the rally. Even the daunting challenge of the 53.78km Antisanti Poggio di Nazza stage on Sunday morning couldnt prevent them from taking their fourth podium of the season.
It has been a very positive and competitive, said Thierry. We made no mistakes and it was pretty much the perfect weekend. Everyone in the team has done a good job, and Im happy with what we have achieved.
Thierry even extended his lead over third-placed man Andreas Mikkelsen on Sundays final stages. We were able to build a gap, he added. We just had to stay focused on our driving in the final stages to bring the car home. Weve built some excellent momentum since Sardinia so I hope we can continue in this direction as we look ahead to Spain.
Hayden and John will also be looking ahead to the next rally in Spain. Our Kiwis had struggled on the opening days in Corsica but made more positive progress in the closing stages. They finished in sixth place but reduced the gap to the top-five by an impressive 20 seconds on Sunday.
Weve made a good step in the right direction, said Hayden after finishing second in the monster SS9 test. Its much more like where we want to be. That gives us confidence as we prepare for Spain.
Tweeting to his loyal fans, Hayden added: Top two and a fastest split means some driving changes I made are in the right direction. Thanks for everyone’s support.
Our Spanish stars Dani and Marc also finished with a positive outlook. They never gave up trying to regain positions after losing two minutes with a puncture on Friday afternoon. Their seventh place wasnt representative of their potential in Corsica.
A really frustrating weekend for us, admitted Dani. The puncture on Friday ended any chance we had of finishing on the podium. Weve had some encouraging stages as well as some difficult ones, but we have to put this down to experience and move on. The next rally is my home event in Spain so Ill come back fighting.
Theres not much time for a break as Rally Spain takes place from 13-16 October. For the 11th round of the Championship, we will be fielding four cars with Kevin and Seb returning to the WRC team after a weekend of R5 action in Corsica.
1. S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 4:07:17.0
2. T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +46.4
3. A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:10.0
4. J.M Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:35.6
5. C. Breen / S. Martin (Citroën DS3 WRC) +2:18.6
6. H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +2:36.1
7. D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +3:06.9
8. E. Camilli / B. Veillas (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:53.9
9. M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:37.7
10. E. Evans / C. Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) +6:26.6
2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers Standings
S. Ogier 195 points / A. Mikkelsen 127 / T. Neuville 112 / H. Paddon 102 / J. M. Latvala 101 / D. Sordo 92 /M. Østberg 80 / K. Meeke 54 / O. Tanak 53 / C. Breen 35 / E. Camilli 27 / H. Solberg 14 / S. Lefebvre 12 / E. Lappi 12 / M. Prokop 12 / T. Suninen 8 / M. Ligato 6 / E. Evans 6 / P. Tidemand 6 / L. Bertelli 4 / K. Abbring 4 / J. Kopecky 3 / N. Fuchs 2 / A. Kremer 2 / V. Gorban 1 / K. Kruuda 1
2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers Standings
Volkswagen Motorsport 293 points / Hyundai Motorsport 227 / Volkswagen Motorsport II 136 / M-Sport World Rally Team 132 / Hyundai Motorsport N 106 / DMACK World Rally Team 66 / Jipocar Czech National Team 18 / Yazeed Racing 4