Corsica: Solberg takes victory

Petter Solberg has safely crossed the line to seal victory on the wet final day of a turbulent Tour de Corse. The Subaru driver again had to give best to Sebastien Loeb on the final two stages, but had the immediate competition under control. But while Petter celebrates winning a rally that he had looked unlikely to start on Thursday, Carlos Sainz will come away from the island as championship leader

Corsica: Solberg takes victory

Damp roads on the last stages saw to it that Solberg only needed to have a clean run to claim the event. After giving away a little to Duval in SS15, he gained it back on SS16 to end proceedings with the same 36-second lead he had halfway through the day.

But Carlos Sainz, after losing 10.5 seconds on SS15, charged back to overhaul Duval for second on the long Pont de Calzola stage that ended the rally. Sainz had gambled on cut slick tyres, a decision that paid dividends only at the very end. His tyre was the ideal one to have on the drier SS16, whilst most of the field struggled on intermediates.

The result leaves Sainz with a three-point lead in the championship. Previous series leader Richard Burns was unable to overhaul Tommi Mäkinen for seventh, so had to come away with just one point. Sebastien Loeb, despite being quickest on every stage today, had ruined his chances with an accident earlier in the event. Markko Martin, also running well down the order, rounded off a poor weekend by crashing out for good on today's penultimate stage.

There were no other changes amongst the points-scorers in the last two stages. Loeb will take encouragement from his pace in all conditions and no doubt be ruing his mistake. But the points race is still wide open. Sainz leads Burns and Solberg by three, with Loeb six behind. There are two rallies left, the next stop being Catalunya in just a week's time.


Petter Solberg (Subaru) 4h20m15.3s
Carlos Sainz (Citroen) +36.6s
Francois Duval (Ford) +41.7s
Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot) +1m09.2s
Colin McRae (Citroen) +1m26.0s
Gilles Panizzi (Peugeot) +1m58.7s
Tommi Makinen (Subaru) +2m25.8s
Richard Burns (Peugeot) +2m36.7s

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Day 3 am: Solberg keeps advantage
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