WRC Corsica: Ogier takes early lead as Loeb crashes on second stage

Sebastien Ogier stormed into an early lead of the World Rally Championship's first full asphalt rally of the season in Corsica, while Sebastien Loeb crashed on the second stage

WRC Corsica: Ogier takes early lead as Loeb crashes on second stage

Nine-time champion Loeb's hopes of victory in the second of his three planned 2018 outings with Citroen came to an abrupt end on the second stage of the morning when he put his C3 in a ditch just moments after the start of the test.

He had been second on the opening test to Ogier, who was 9.7 seconds faster than his countryman on the 30-mile stage.

Citroen reported Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena were OK, but has not said whether they will return.

With Loeb's crash, M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver Ogier was able to extend his rally lead to 21.1s over shakedown pacesetter Kris Meeke with another fastest time on the shorter Piedigriggio - Pont de Castirla second stage.

Thierry Neuville completes the top three, a little more than two seconds behind Meeke, but reported he was unhappy with the balance of his Hyundai i20 - which he claimed was "all over the place" - after the opening test.

Toyota's trio also suffered on the opening stage with braking issues through the water sections.

Ott Tanak is the highest-placed Yaris in fourth position ahead of M-Sport's Elfyn Evans, who has Petter Solberg's former co-driver Phil Mills alongside him this weekend while Daniel Barritt continues his recovery from a Rally Mexico crash.

Dani Sordo, who finished runner-up to Ogier in Mexico, sits in sixth place ahead of the second and third Toyotas of Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala.

Sordo's Hyundai team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen spun on the opening corner of the first stage and ended the morning in ninth place, marginally ahead of the third M-Sport Fiesta of Bryan Bouffier, who is making his first appearance since the season-opener.

Skoda veteran Jan Kopecky leads the WRC2 category ahead of young team-mate Ole Christian Veiby.

Leading positions

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 39m53.7s
2 Kris Meeke, P.Nagle Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 21.1s
3 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 23.4s
4 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 25.1s
5 Elfyn Evans, P.Mills M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 37.7s
6 Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 42.0s
7 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 45.2s
8 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 53.0s
9 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 53.2s
10 Bryan Bouffier, X.Panseri M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 54.4s


shares
comments
Tour de Corse: Kris Meeke plays down surprising shakedown margin

Previous article

Tour de Corse: Kris Meeke plays down surprising shakedown margin

Next article

Sebastien Loeb will drive 'just for fun' after Tour de Corse WRC crash

Sebastien Loeb will drive 'just for fun' after Tour de Corse WRC crash
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Sébastien Ogier
Author Josh Suttill
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021